Pub of the Season

Trafford & Hulme Branch awards four seasonal awards to pubs, bars & clubs in the branch area

The Pub Of The Season award is presented to a pub or bar within the branch area which has excelled in one or more areas:
a) introducing real ale to a new area or market where none has been available
b) on-going excellence in the quality of real ales (and ciders) on offer
c) on-going excellence of service to customers and/or the local community
d) significant increases in the sales of real ales and/or traditional ciders
e) excellence in support promotion of CAMRA and its aims
f) significant charitable work

Nominees for the award are put forward by local CAMRA members & voted on by branch members once a quarter.

A pub (while under the same management) cannot be Pub Of The Season more than once in a 3 year period. A pub must have been under the same management for over one year before it becomes eligible to be nominated as Pub Of The Season

The Trafford & Hulme Branch Pub Of The Season for Spring 2014 is The Vine Inn, Manchester.

The Vine InnSituated on Kennedy Street, just off Princess Street near to the Town Hall, The Vine is one of the city's oldest pubs sporting an impressive tiled frontage and stained glass windows. The pub is an excellent example of how a pub can offer a real sense of community built around it's regulars despite being right in the heart of the city, yet still offers a warm welcome to the many visitors to our city who cross its threshold. Much of this is built around long time landlady Rachelle Stringer whose enthusiasm for life and people is infectious to both staff and customers.

Locals and visitors alike have long been able to sample excellent ales from the two handpumps crammed onto the bar of the small ground floor servery, with Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Wychwood Hobgoblin having been the only permanent ales. However, December 2013 saw the biggest change at the pub since the original ground floor bar was expanded into the building next door in the 1970s. That expansion created the upstairs area and a cellar bar which in recent years has served as the pub's restaurant and function area but late last year, the cellar bar was transformed into Malt & Cask - a pub within a pub.

The Trafford & Hulme Branch Pub of the Season for Winter 2013/14 is The Wharf situated in the Castlefield area of Manchester.

The City Centre is fortunate in being able to boast a number of top quality real ale outlets with some notable ones located around the perimeter of Castlefield.

However, for a long time, a foray down into the actual Castlefield basin was a rather unrewarding experience for the cask ale drinker. Thankfully, that situation changed in July 2012 with the arrival of The Wharf. 

Huge credit should be given to owners, the Brunning & Price Group, for taking on a derelict and somewhat uninspiring building and turning it into a real feature of the area (the building was purpose built in 1998 to house the Jackson’s Wharf pub which closed in 2005).

The  Wharf consists of two floors, the top level is set up to provide a more formal dining experience whilst the ground floor, with its various little alcoves and cosy corners, offers the customer that “proper pub” feeling.

On 17th October, Trafford & Hulme gathered at The Salisbury Ale House to present the pub with the Pub Of The Season Award for Autumn 2013.

Owner John Rowlinson and his team were very proud to receive the award and have even invested in advertising the award on the hoardings outside the pub.

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Manager Matt, Heather Airlie, John Rowlinson

The SalisburyTrafford and Hulme CAMRA have chosen The Salisbury as their Pub of the Season for Autumn 2013. Situated on Wakefield Street just off Oxford Road, at the bottom of Oxford Road Station steps, this “alternative” may not be to everyone’s taste but their passion for real ale cannot be denied.

By the time you read this they will have just been awarded the regional InnServe Best Cellar Award 2013, this is in recognition of the high standards of cellarmanship and dispense. John Rowlinson, the landlord for 10 years is justly proud and said that “they were now through to the national competition” and he paid tribute to Matt Muszynsky and his small team who look after the cellar.

The Trafford & Hulme Pub Of The Season for Summer 2013 is The City Arms, Manchester.

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Landlord Steve Crook presented with award by branch secretary Caroline O'Donnell

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.

 

Old Packet House

Trafford & Hulme branch have voted the Old Packet House, Navigation Road, Broadheath as their Pub Of The Season for Spring 2013. Built in the 1770’s the Old Packet House was the second stopping place on the journey, by boat or barge, from Manchester to Runcorn along the Bridgewater Canal, providing shelter for passengers and storage facilities for packages for dispatch or collection. Now run, since June 2004, by the father & daughter team of Terry & Claire Hardman.  The pub is now a cheery & welcoming local serving two cask ales, Little Bollington from Dunham Massey and Golden Best from Timothy Taylors

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Old Packet House, Braodheath

The ParlourThe Trafford & Hulme CAMRA Pub Of The Season for Winter 2012/13 is The Parlour, Beech Road, Chorlton.

The presentation will take place from 8-30pm on Thursday 10th January. All welcome to join in the celebration and beat the post-holiday blues.

Since opening in 2010 The Parlour has attracted plenty of attention and customers. Sister pub to the much revived Castle in Manchester, real ale is a prominent feature of the bar, and a newly discovered passion for managers Jamie and his wife Goska.

The Trafford & Hulme Branch Pub Of The Season for Autumn 2012 is The Hillary Step on Upper Chorlton Road, Whalley Range. The award will be presented on Monday 1st October from 8pm. The pub are promising to lay on an extra special range of beers - all are welcome.

Hillary StepThe pub achieved brief notoriety when it first opened in 2004 by being Manchester's first non-smoking pub. Although the change in the law three years later removed its unique selling point, the pub has continued to go from strength to strength, so much so that earlier this year, it almost doubled in size with a large extension being added to the rear and the bar being extended.

Prior to the Hillary Step, drinkers in Whalley Range had to journey to The Whalley right at the northern end of Upper Chorlton Road or south to neighbouring Chorlton. Set in a short row of shops a few hundred yards from the junction with Seymour Grove, the Hilary was neighbour to well regarded Italian restaurant Palmiro which had been established in 2000. The two venues gave new life to the area and were soon joined by Jam Street Café. Palmiro was sold in early 2010 and is now the home to Nip & Tipple, the three bars now making this short strip a viable alternative to Cholrton's more intensive scene.

The Bishop Blaize on Chester Road in Stretford was presented with the Trafford & Hulme Pub Of The Season award for Summer 2012 on Thursday 19th July.

Bishop Blaize team

Robinsons brewery had brewed a special Bishop Blaize ale for the occassion and were also present offering samples of their ales.

The presentation was made by branch Cider Officer Steven Swain who is a regular at the JD Wetherspoon pub. Pictured is Steven with pub manager Ben Plunkett.

Ben Plunkett & Steven Swain