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Adnams Pub Awards 2012

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Karen Hester, Operations Director at Adnams, presented the Adnams Pub Awards over four categories, with the pub scoring highly in all categories winning the overall Adnams Pub of the Year. 2012 also included four extra categories identifying pubs that deserved special recognition in 2012.

Adnams Pub of the Year 2012 - The Railway, Aldeburgh

Shirley Barber & Jo Hall from The Railway, Aldeburgh - Adnams Pub of the Year 2012Karen comments, "Every year we seek one pub that is a shining example of all that exemplifies the Great British Pub. It is not always the biggest or busiest or the one offering the widest selection of food - we look to see the breadth of their offering.  They must have entered at least two of the award categories, and been close to the top of the pile in those areas, as well as offering those truly British pub characteristics: a warm, friendly welcome, great beer and beverages, care for their community and the impact they have upon it. This year’s winner fulfilled these criteria in so many ways: the warmest welcome to all, beautiful floral displays throughout the year, perfectly kept beer in a spotless cellar, huge community involvement from fundraising to volunteering, recycling (not just in a conventional way – ask them about the new treasure chest of recycled goods!), and they still finding time to have the fullest events calendar of any pub that we know.  Congratulations to Karl and Shirley Barber at The Railway, Aldeburgh."

Best Floral Display - The Wherry, Geldeston

Trina Pitt from The Wherry and Jonathan Adnams"Even today, the floral displays at the winning pub are still flowering. The profusion of trailing begonias, geraniums and other flowers have put on a wonderful display throughout the year.  The baskets serve to inspire and delight. Wherever you are, inside or out, you can see cheerful blooms and foliage. Our winners are Matt and Trina Pitt at The Wherry, Geldeston."

Best Kept Cellar - The Lord Nelson, Southwold

"Stiff competition this year, as in previous years, but the clear winner in this category not only has a tiny, traditional ‘below pub’ rather than surface cellar, but also sells a phenomenal amount of beer – this proves that you don’t need a perfect cellar, just a perfect cellar keeper with a passion for doing things right.  I am therefore delighted to announce that the award for best kept cellar goes to David and Gemma Sanchez, The Lord Nelson, Southwold."

Sustainability Award - The Cherry Tree, Woodbridge

Andy, Jonathan Adnams, and James from the Cherry Tree, Woodbridge"Even though our tenants at this pub took over in February this year they have wasted no time in continuing the commitment to sustainability and implementing new ideas.  From simple but effective reuse of items that might otherwise end in the bin, to starting their own vegetable patch and making their own candle holders from wine bottles, they have demonstrated an understanding that environmental initiatives are good for their bottom-line too. As with so many of the pubs visited, the team is passionate about using local produce and suppliers.  I am confident they will continue to implement ideas in the future that will make their business even more environmentally efficient. Congratulations to Andy Thompson and James Buckingham at The Cherry Tree, Woodbridge."

Best Community Pub - The White Horse, Westleton

Jenny Powling from The White Horse Westleton and Jonathan Adnams"If any of you ever wondered why a pub should work with, and for, their local community then this year’s recipient can tell you – communities give during times of need.  After many years of fundraising and whole-hearted community involvement by Rick and Jenny Powling, Rick became gravely ill early this year and tragically passed away.  During this time the entire community rallied around, helping out with everything from running Jenny to the hospice to cleaning the beer pipes, helping run the bar, cleaning, gardening, and making sure she had a hot meal to come home to. They continue to be a tower of strength to Jenny and her family - a wonderful example of a community receiving and then giving back. I would like to ask Jenny from The White Horse, Westleton, to receive the Community Pub of the Year award on behalf of the villagers of Westleton, and in Rick’s memory."

Adnams' Special Recognition Awards:

Best Newcomer - The Queen's Head, Blyford

Marie and Lee Knights with Jonathan Adnams"This year’s winners approached us with a dream to run their own pub.  In a very short space of time they have transformed this pretty pub into a welcoming, friendly place to visit with fantastic food.  The outside is now a children’s haven with sunken boat sandpit, wendy house and child-size benches, multi-coloured chicken huts painted like beach huts, and an adult's outside seating area. Well done to Lee and Marie at The Queen's Head, Blyford – the pub is a credit to you."

Innovation Award - The Bull Inn, Cavendish

Peter & Elaine Saunders, The Bull Inn Cavendish with Jonathan Adnams"Innovation can come in many forms but this year’s winner has been truly inspired and taken recycling to a higher form.  I am sure many of you have wondered what to do with old, broken furniture or indeed other obscure items.  This year's winners have transformed previously unwanted items into creative and stunning floral receptacles. Congratulations to Peter and Elaine Saunders at The Bull Inn, Cavendish."

Overcoming Adversity Award - The Harbour Inn, Southwold

Nick Attfield and Jonathan Adnams, The Harbour Inn, Southwold"Adversity can mean many things, but few have to deal with challenge after challenge, week after week, and still open their doors as if nothing has happened.  One tenant has had more than their fair share of overcoming adversity.  Nick Attfield at The Harbour Inn, who despite spending hours pumping and sweeping flood water out of his pub until the early hours of many a morning, still managed to open his doors on time the next day.  He didn’t just do this once last winter but over and over again.  Here's hoping you have a drier winter this year, Nick!"

Charity Fund-raising - The Randolph, Reydon

David & Donna Smith from The RAndolph, Reydon, with Jonathan Adnams"Adnams is lucky to have so many tenants who give back to their community over and over again, in so many ways.  However, there is one pub that consistently raises more funds than any other and I felt that this hard work and dedication should not go unacknowledged. Congratulations to David and Donna Smith at The Randolph, Reydon."

Bitburger Competition - The Castle Inn, Cambridge

John & Matt from The Castle Inn, Cambridge, with Jonathan AdnamsThe final award of the year went to the winner's of the Bitburger Competition. Karen commented, "A commitment to actively promoting the full range of Bitburger products has proven results and I am pleased to announce that the pub which has achieved the greatest percentage growth in Bitburger beers over foreign lager is The Castle Inn, Cambridge – John and Matt Halsey." Congratulations to all! You can view images of the Pub Awards 2012 which took place at The Swan Hotel, Southwold, on Flickr.    


Sarah Groves