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‘Back-street boozer’ rated as the best in the region

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A pub landlord has described being ‘absolutely astonished’ when he heard his establishment had been named the regional pub of the year.

The John Bull, on Howick Street, in Alnwick, was named the overall pub of the year in the Tyneside and Northumberland Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) awards.

It also scooped 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, didn’t expect to win.

He said: “I am absolutely chuffed to bits. I never thought it was possible.

“It is unbelievably amazing. 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.”

On Saturday, nearly 30 members of the Camra branch turned up to see chairman Ian Lee present Gus with his awards.

Ian said: “Gus has been here for a long time and the awards are testament to his work.

“I remember many years ago I went to Belgium and when I came back I wanted to know where I could buy Belgian beers.

“There were two places in London, one in Chester and the John Bull in Alnwick.

“Gus has always served exceptional beer.

“He has been a regular winner of the north Northumberland Pub of the Year but to win the overall award for the region is superb.

“He has been blocked for a few years by another pub, but this year he has won and deservedly so.

“Gus’s consistency to continually provide beers of the best quality is just one of the reasons he won.

“And also the advice from the bar staff even when Gus isn’t there.”

The accolades mean the John Bull is deemed one of the top 16 pubs in Britain and will see it being put forward to the national Camra pub of the year awards.

Pubs are judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly – quality of beer.

 

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