Bridford Inn, Bridford - Winner 2015
There are around 330 pubs in the South Devon CAMRA branch area and each winter a short list is drawn up of suitable candidates for pub of the year. It's a very difficult task as there are so many excellent pubs in our area. For this year's competition we managed to whittle down to a short list of just five pubs in January. Over a period of two months these were each visited anonymously by many of the active branch members. At our March branch meeting votes were cast and the five pubs reduced to two. Each member rated each pub on a number of criteria: the quality of the beer (obviously the most important!), the atmosphere, quality of service, clientele, sympathy with CAMRA aims and whether the pub offers good value for the area.
For 2015 we are pleased to announce that the Bridford Inn in Bridford up in the Teign Valley on the eastern edge of Dartmoor is our branch pub of the year! Congratulations to all at the pub! The award was presented to landlords Dean and Lyn Staniforth and the photo below shows branch chairman Bob Southwell (pictured right) with them during the presentation.
Over 150 people squeezed into the Bridford Inn at Bridford to help celebrate the Pub of the Year Award 2015, presented by the South Devon CAMRA branch in early April. Publicans Dean and Lyn Staniforth, along with their son Sam, have only been in charge for 18 months but in that time have made a big difference, which has not gone unnoticed by the beer drinkers in the area. The 17th century Devon Longhouse was converted into a pub in 1968 and serves 4 real ales, a large range of real ciders and perries, and is also popular for its quality home-cooked food.
The Pub of the Year is awarded to the pub that is judged best overall, taking into account several categories, and the pub scored well in all categories, the principal of which is beer quality. Other factors are taken into account, such as value for money and sympathy with CAMRA aims. Another is community focus, and the pub has a small village shop on the premises and runs events for its community: I spotted Italian food nights and a gin tutorial amongst others.
South Devon Camra has around 330 pubs within its catchment area, running between Kingsbridge to Teignmouth, Torbay and Chagford, from which only 29 make the grade and become entries in the Good Beer Guide. From these The Bridford Inn has been selected the best. Dean, Lyn and Sam have a good pedigree in the pub trade. In 2012 they won Pub of the Year in their previous premises, The Woolpack in Tillicoultry, a pub which went on to win Regional Pub of the Year for Scotland and N. Ireland. The South Devon region is lucky the Staniforths came this way. Dean was hoping to go back to his native Yorkshire and was researching pubs for sale online. By chance, he saw the Bridford Inn and fell in love with the place: the rest is history.
We wish the family team all the best for the next stage of the judging, where they will be considered for Regional Pub of the Year against the other South West branch winners.
A little more about the Bridford Inn -
High above the valley floor, there are panoramic views of the surrounding hills from the pubs gardens. With its stone walls, beamed ceilings and ingelnook fireplace, this is a gem of a pub, for not only do they serve good ales, food and traditional cider from various Devon and Somerset producers, but it also houses the village shop! There are four handpumps on the bar that are usually fully employed, but there is also a stillage behind the bar which can take a further two barrels on gravity.
It's open noon - 11pm Sun - Thu and noon - midnight Fri - Sat
Telephone: (01647) 252250. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
More information is available on their website.
If you'd like to become more involved in CAMRA and help us select next year's Branch Pub of the Year, if you're not already a member why not join CAMRA, and then come along to one of our monthly branch meetings.