The Trafford & Hulme Pub Of The Season for Summer 2013 is The City Arms, Manchester.
The City Arms is one of the real gems of our city's pub scene, tucked away on Kennedy Street, just off Albert Square. While press talking about the city's great pubs often focus on more historic pubs like The Britons Protection or Thomas' Chop House, for a traditional regulars pubs that focuses on beer, there are none better than The City Arms.
The pub has featured in the Good Beer Guide for the last 17 consecutive years. Landlord Steve Crook has been looking after the beer at the pub for seven and a half years, originally as cellar-man and more latterly as landlord. In fact, Steve was responsible for the beer quality which won the pub its previous Pub Of The Season award in 2008.
There are usually eight real ales on offer which under Steve's stewardship now regularly include two or three LocAle options from local microbreweries, with Hornbeam, Millstone and Green Mill being particular favourites from the selection available under SIBA's Direct Delivery Scheme. There is a permanent dark mild in the form of Moorhouse's Black Cat on pump two while pump seven usually features a stout or porter. For cider lovers, Weston's Old Rosie (with occasional alternatives) is dispensed from a box on the back bar.
As well as being one of the biggest supporters of CAMRA's LocAle scheme, Steve and his team support as many of CAMRA's campaigns as possible including the current "Fair Deal 4 Locals" campaign which is particularly apt as the pub is owned by Pub Co Spirit meaning that they are forced to buy beer at up to 50% more than they would pay on the open market. For other campaigns there is a dedicated CAMRA notice board and plenty of campaigning leaflets available.
The award was presented on a hot and sticky night in July with branch secretary Caroline O'Donnell telling the assembled drinkers that quite simply the pub deserved the award because it was a "cracking pub" - which gained a hearty round of applause. Grinning with pride, Steve Crook accepted the award on behalf of his team, saying that everybody who works at the pub works incredibly hard to make it what it is. He thanked CAMRA for their support over the years and paid tribute to the loyal regulars who keep the pub busy day and night.