Alnwick pubs lead the way

John Bull landlord Gus Odlin left, with Camra Tyneside and Northumberland Branch chairman Ian Lee.
John Bull landlord Gus Odlin left, with Camra Tyneside and Northumberland Branch chairman Ian Lee.
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One Alnwick pub is back where it belongs in a top beer guide, while another takes up its position as one of the UK’s 16 best drinking holes.

Earlier this month, the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) published its Good Beer Guide 2015, which features five new breweries and 42 new pub entries for the North East.

Tanners Arms, Alnwick

Tanners Arms, Alnwick

The Tanners Arms on Hotspur Place in Alnwick is back in the guide for the first time since 2008 and the first time under its new ownership.

Landlord Ben Greener took over the Tanners in August 2011, re-opening it after it had been vacant for several months, and last year, he purchased the building from the pub company that had gone into administration.

Reacting to being back in the guide, Ben said: “I think it’s a decent indication of how far we’ve come; a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the staff past and present, and to the loyalty of the customers who have seen what we’re trying to build and have been kind enough to support it.

“Hopefully we’ll be around for a while to come, and this news will certainly be a help in that regard.”

As reported by the Gazette in March, the John Bull, also in Alnwick, was named the overall pub of the year in the Tyneside and Northumberland Camra awards, also scooping the north Northumberland title for pub, and cider pub, of the year.

Landlord Gus Odlin, who has been running the pub for the last 13 years, described himself at the time as ‘absolutely chuffed to bits’, adding: “I thought it was unachievable for a back-street boozer in Alnwick to be given the overall award when there are so many good pubs around.”

The accolade means that the John Bull is deemed one of best in Britain, going forward to the national Camra pub of the year awards and it takes pride of place in the new guide as one of the country’s top pubs.

The national pub of the year for 2014 will be announced in February next year.

Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2015 is available from shop.camra.org.uk