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cityarmssmallThe Trafford & Hulme Branch Pub Of The Year 2014 is The City Arms, Kennedy Street, Manchester.

While hype rages about the "Craft Beer Revolution" and the press raves about specialist beer bars, the City Arms is testament to the enduring popularity of a well run traditional pub. The pub is nestled away on Kennedy Street, a quiet narrow back street which runs parallel to Princess Street, one of Manchester's busiest streets. Despite being so close to Albert Square and the heart of the city, once inside you could forget you are in the city and imagine yourself in a lively suburban local, the kind of which there are sadly fewer and fewer of these days.
Once a Tetley Heritage Ale House, real ales have long been at the heart of The City Arms, and 16 years and counting of Good Beer Guide entries demonstrate that they know what they are doing with those ales. 8 handpumps adorn the bar in two banks of four and variety is assured. There are blackboards for you to see what's on, but the range always includes a dark beer on, a stout or a porter most commonly, and there is always a mild available. The pub embraces CAMRA's LocAle scheme, usually aiming to have at least two beers from local breweries on the bar, often sourced through the SIBA Direct Delivery Scheme. Real cider is also available at all times, from a "bag in box" on the bar.
 
Like most truly great pubs, what really makes it are the staff. It's makes you feel at home in a pub when the bar staff greet you warmly when you step through the door and bid you a fond farewell when you leave. If you are up for a bit of a banter at the bar, they will oblige, but if you want to get your pint and slope off to a quiet corner, then you'll be obliged. Licensee and manager Steve Crook took on the pub four years ago after four more as head cellarman under the previous management. Steve continues to do much of the cellar work today as well as the day to day running of the pub, but as reported in Opening Times previously, it is testament to his team that when Steve was recently laid low by injury, the staff have stepped up so that the customer experience hasn't changed.
 
Despite the pubs central location, most of the rest of the givens of a great pub are also present - a hearty good value menu is served at lunchtimes (with a pie warmer on the bar for snacking at other times), there's a yard at the rear and space in front of the pub for smokers and there's no music to interrupt the conversation. Coupled with great beer and a warm welcome, there is not much more you could ask for and that's why it's Trafford & Hulme Pub Of The Year for 2014.
 
The presentation will be made on Thursday 22nd May. Come along from 8pm to help the pub celebrate. A light supper will be provided.