Deansgate Bar regains top CAMRA award after five year wait

Trafford & Hulme CAMRA has revealed the winners in their annual Pub & Club awards.

The top accolade of Pub Of The Year has been awarded to The Knott on Deansgate, Manchester. Nestled in the railway arches opposite Deansgate railway station, this is the third time the Castlefield bar has taken the top title having won it in both 2009 & 2010 - the latter being on the way to being named Greater Manchester Pub Of the Year in 2010.

The Club Of The Year has been named as Flixton Conservative Club while cider & perry lovers will want to head to Cider Pub Of The Year, The Font on Manchester Road, Chorlton.

The Knott has been a haven for beer fans in the city for over 10 years, leading the way for what has become known as the Craft Beer Revolution. With a selection of 7 cask ales, a wide range of European lagers, craft beers from the UK & abroad and an enviable selection of bottles from around the world, there is no better place in the city for the modern beer lover. The bar supports a wide range of local breweries with long established favourites like Marble Beers and Rochdale\'s Pictish Brewery sharing bar space with some of the most exciting new local breweries like Shindigger and Brewsmith. Add a warm welcome, efficient service and freshly cooked restaurant quality food at pub prices, the bar offers the complete package.

Pipped to the post to end up as runner up was Altrincham\'s Costello\'s Bar - the brewery tap of Dunham Massey Brewing Co - themselves a former winner having taken the title in 2011 & 2012. Chorlton\'s The Beech Inn was third.

John O\'Donnell, spokesman for Trafford & Hulme CAMRA said \"We are very pleased that The Knott has regained the Pub Of The Year title - they have long been one of the very best pubs across the area and have been in the running for the award year on year. Ahead of their time when they opened, they have kept moving as the city\'s beer market has evolved, offering craft beers long before others caught on but all on the solid foundations of well kept real ale.\"

Alongside the Pub Of The Year announcement, the branch has also confirmed their Club Of The Year award has gone to Flixton Conservative Club for the third year in a row. The private members club on Flixton Road has cemented a considerable reputation for choice and quality of its real ales under the stewardship of Nigel & Sharon Porter, a feature which has helped the club grow its membership and customer base at a time when other clubs are struggling.

Finally, the Cider Pub Of The Year is The Font on Manchester Road Chorlton-cum-Hardy, recognised for offering four traditional ciders & perries on draught at all times alongside the widest range of bottled ciders that you will find anywhere in the city. The award marks the third time in a row that the Font chain has taken this title, with their Manchester bar winning it in 2013 before conceding to their younger Chorlton based sister bar for 2014.

Notes to editors:

  1. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale is an independent, voluntary organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights.
  2. The Trafford & Hulme Branch covers the south western part of Manchester City Centre, the whole of the Borough of Trafford plus Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Hulme & Whalley Range. The branch has 1000 members.
  3. The Knott, 374 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LY. Telephone 0161 839 9229. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4. Flixton Conservative Club, 193 Flixton Road, M41 5DF. Telephone 0161 748 2846. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. The Font, 115-117 Manchester Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 9PG. Telephone 0161 871 2022. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Railway Broadheath Community POTY 2014 2 SmallCongratulations to Pete & Wendy (pictured with Beverley Gobbett who proposed the award) and the rest of the team at the Railway in Broadheath, on winning the 2014 Trafford and Hulme Community Pub of the Year award.

A well deserved award for this pub that has successfully served the locals of Broadheath since it was saved from demolition in the mid 1990's by a joint campaign organised by CAMRA and its locals. Pete and his partner Wendy have carried on the tradition of keeping the Railway a locals local since taking over the lease.

Some pubs have a smart kitchen and are able to serve meals, the Railway doesn't, some pubs have the space to allow live music & comedy acts, the Railway doesn't. The Railway relies entirely on its community spirit, and great ale, to attract and keep its customers   So let's wish Pete & Wendy a long and successful future, well done!

Stretford Sip Club - TH Best Newcomer 2014The branch has named The Sip Club, Barton Road, Stretford as Best Newcomer 2014.

The bar which was also the branch's Pub of The Season for Autumn 2014 opened in April 2014 but has made a massive impact in such a short time - some much that even before CAMRA could present the Newcomer Award, it was named "Best Bar" in the annual CityLife Awards.

They went on to complete a triumvirate of awards with an off-field offering from the Federation of Small Businesses in recognition of their efforts to promote and engage with other Stretford businesses. Local MP Kate Green nominated the bar for the Business Buddy Award after noting their efforts to use local suppliers whereever possible (including almost exclusively offering beers & ciders from local brewers and producers) and to promote other Stretford businesses via events such as the bimonthly "Made In M32" craft fairs.

Pictured is branch chair Paul King presenting owner Heather Garlick with the Best Newcomer award.

The runner up for Best Newcomer was The Moose in Hale.


The Church InnCongratulations to Carl and Steve (pictured left, with Trafford & Hulme branch's Mark Reeves) and the rest of the team at the Church Inn, Hulme, on winning the 2014 Trafford and Hulme Most Improved Pub of the Year award.

A JW Lees pub, it was refurbished in 2013 with a new kitchen and outdoor drinking area and a warm welcome is always guaranteed. Having successfully run a bar in Macclesfield for 14 years, the Church set them a new challenge, having been off of the real ale map for years and generally a bit run down and ignored. It now serves two Lees ales and has a real community feel with a clientele consisting mostly of locals, students and university staff.

A kitchen fire in 2014 was a small setback but they have shrugged that off and continue to serve excellent home cooked food (the steak and ale pie is a winner, according to regulars). In an area where traditional pubs can be counted on a few fingers we wish them a long and prosperous future, well done!

At the branch Annual General Meeting on 9th October, the branch will be voting for the annual pub & club awards which recognise excellence outside of the quarterly Pub Of The Season and annual Pub & Club Of The Year Awards.

Members are encouraged to visit the nominees to learn about them for themselves before the vote. Click on the pub name to be taken to their entry which has a map of how to find the pub.

The nominations are:

Best Newcomer

Awarded annually to the pub, bar or club which having opened in the 15 months preceding the award best fulfils the attributes of a good pub, bar or club. The factors to be judged are the same as considered when judging for Pub Of The Year - quality of cask ale (and cider), atmosphere, décor, customer service, welcome, value for money and customer mix. Pubs, bars and clubs which have re-opened after a period of closure shall be eligible if they had been closed for a period of 12 months or more before re-opening under new management.

Best LocAle Pub/Club

Awarded annually to the pub, bar or club which the membership feels has done the most in the preceding 12 months to support and promote the CAMRA LocAle Scheme, serving quality locally brewed ales, encouraging their customers to choose locally brewed products and educating them about the origins of the real ale on offer.

Most Improved Pub/Club

Awarded annually to the pub, bar or club which the membership feels has shown the greatest overall improvement over the 12 months preceding the award.
The factors to be judged are the same as considered when judging for Pub Of The Year - quality of cask ale (and cider), atmosphere, décor, customer service, welcome, value for money and customer mix.

Best Community Pub

Awarded annually to the pub or bar which is considered to best embody the attributes of a true community pub and which has a sense of the pub belonging to the people and the local community. Examples of a pubs role in the community include: Notice boards featuring local events; Sports teams linked with the pub; Pub games team nights held; Hosting of meetings for local community groups; Organisation of charity fundraisers; Organisation of trips for customers; Provision of services to the community (e.g. post office, parcel collection, shop)


Additional nominations can be made at the AGM.


Stretford Sip Club signThe Trafford & Hulme Branch Pub of The Season for Autumn 2014 is perhaps one of the most unusual "pubs" in the whole of the branch area but one that has made an impression in just six months of trading. Located in former office space above an estate agent's office, the only sign of the Stretford Sip Club's existence is a hand painted wooden sign in the window adjacent to the anonymous door of the premises on the corner of Barton Road and Kingsway.

Step inside the door and assorted casks stacked under the stairs are the first clue to what lies above. Climbing to the top of the stairs and you may think you've been mistaken and you have entered into somebody's lounge complete with sofas and dining table - it's only when you venture to the rear room that you will find the bar complete with it's two handpumps and well stocked fridge.

Opening in April 2014, The Sip Club was the realisation of the dream of landlady Heather Garlick, a born and bred Stretfordian who wanted to bring to her hometown the kind of place she would like to socialise at herself - a cosy and welcoming space offering only genuine quality beers & wines. How the Sip Club has embedded itself into the local area in such as short period of time is remarkable and testament to the vision and hard work of Heather and the band of family, friends and suppliers who have embraced what she set out to do.