Awards

The Trafford & Hulme Branch Pub of the Season for Spring 2016 is The Bar in Chorlton.

The Bar on Wilbraham Road is one of the longest standing pubs in Chorlton and sister pub to The Knott, city centre and The Macc, Macclesfield. As one of the first of the new breed of ‘café/ bars’ in the area they were at the forefront of the revolution that now sees 30 real ale outlets in a square mile of what was once described as a ‘beer desert’.

Over the past close to 20 years it has gathered a loyal following and now arguably has the most diverse clientele in Chorlton. The 3 areas of the pub are open plan, yet separate enough to give a sense of intimacy, particularly in the small snug in back past the bar. The larger area to the left on entry hosts a weekly quiz and music nights and also serves as the main dining area, a full menu is now being served.

The long area in front of the bar has a lovely tiled fire place and there are 8 hand pumps on the bar, 4 either side of the large pillar. Beers are mostly regional and more often LocAle with offerings from Pictish, Acorn, Marble and Magic Rock frequently on the bar. Real cider is also available, 4 bag-in-box are usually found in the fridge.

Blackboards behind the bar advertise the offerings including ‘craft’ keg both foreign and domestic. There’s a patio to the front where smoking is allowed and a beer garden to the rear where it isn’t. A few things have changed over the years, but they don’t do cocktails and still don’t sell Stalla!

The Pub of the Season award will be presented on Thursday 21st April from 8pm. It’s located opposite the Chorlton Metrolink stop and several bus routes go close by.

Trafford & Hulme Cider Pub of The Year 2016 is Chorlton’s Font Bar, taking the award for the third year in a row.

With a minimum of four ciders and perries available on draft at a time, increasing to as many as eight in summer months, the Manchester Road venue has the widest range of traditional ciders & perries any pub in the branch area. If the draft selection isn’t wide enough, there is also a fridge full of bottled ciders to choose from.

The Trafford & Hulme Branch Club Of The Year for the fourth year in a row is Flixton Conservative Club. Having retained its branch title, the Flixton Road club will be hoping to also retain the Greater Manchester Club Of The Year title it took last year.

Stewards Nigel & Sharon Porter have continued to improve the choice and quality of real ales on offer at the club. The main club room has six handpumps with permanent Theakston Best Bitter being joined by an ever changing range of guests, mostly from local breweries. In the last year they have installed five further pumps in the upstairs function room to allow them to save the same great range of beers to the many clubs and groups who use function room. Turnover of beers is increasing all the time allowing the club to feature even more variety while keeping quality which recently saw the club awarded 100 out of 100 in its latest Cask Marque inspection.

The club’s monthly “brewery nights” have now been running for 18 months and a eagerly anticipated by the club’s members who get to sample five beers from the selected brewery over a pie & pea supper. The most recent night featured Bollington Brewery with Weetwood Ales & Deeply Vale being other recent participants.

Presentation of the award will coincide with the next brewery night on 29th April when the featured brewer is due to be none less than the Pictish Brewing Company.

Julie accepting the award from John

Thursday 15th January saw the award for the "Most Improved Pub of the Year - 2015"

Broadheath’s Navigation Hotel was the winner. New landlady Julie took over the pub in March 2015 and immediately set about transforming the pub into a venue that welcomes diners and drinkers equally and is equally suited to families and mature customers. Although TV sports have been maintained, they no longer dominate the pub with zoning set up to allow some areas to be quiet while sport is shown in others. There is a full menu, regular live music and the bowling green out back is in regular use.

Most importantly, the quality and range of beers has improved greatly. Pictured is branch chair John O’Donnell with Julie.

 

Sir Ralph AbercrombyThe Trafford & Hulme branch Pub Of The Season for Winter 2015/16 is the Sir Ralph Abercromby in Manchester City Centre.

The Sir Ralph is a Manchester institution having stood on Bootle Street since the early 19th century. Current Landlord Mike Christodoulou came to the pub in 2011 when he and the legendary “Greek George” of the Circus Tavern fame revitalised it after a period of closure. George moved on after a couple of years but Mike has continued to build the pub into one with a vibrant community who head to it for good value food, regular entertainment and of course good beer – there are usually five real ales on the bar.

Despite its long history, the future of the pub is seriously under threat from Manchester City Council’s plans to redevelop the whole area. Although the proposals which were recently subject of public consultation are deliberately vague, all the indications are that the developers see the pub as “in the way”. CAMRA will be doing what we can to ensure that development does not wipe out such an important part of our pub scene.

The Pub Of The Season award will be presented on Friday 30th January from 8pm. It’s hoped to get the press to cover the event in the light of the threat to the pub, so it would be good if CAMRA members from across the region could make it down to show the level of support for our historic pubs.

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