Queens Arms, Brixham - Winner 2016 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 2016 we are pleased to announce that the Queens Arms in Brixham is our branch pub of the year! Congratulations to all at the pub! The award was presented to landlord Chris Simmonds and the photo below shows branch chairman Bob Southwell (pictured left) with them during the presentation.
The Queens Arms in Station Hill in Brixham has been named Pub of the Year by the South Devon branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. The landlord, Chris Simmonds took over the pub in 2011 turning it from a run-down street corner boozer into a thriving community hub. The award, voted for by CAMRA branch members is primarily for ale quality but also takes into account factors such as atmosphere and welcome.
Presenting the award in Spring 2016, branch Chairman Bob Southwell congratulated Chris on getting things right, from his skills as a cellarman, his revitalisation of the pub and the welcoming ambience that he engenders. This is the second time the pub has won, having previously taken top honours in 2014.
Chris attributed his success to his whole team of staff - present and past, and all his suppliers, brewers, draymen, but above all his customers who make the pub the friendly place it is.
The pub was packed to see Chris receive his award and there were a fine selection of ales, namely Teignworth’s Black Dog Mild; Black Tor’s Raven; Oakham Ales’ The Nav;, Branscombe Vale’s Summa This; Summerskill’s Devon Frost; Castor Ales’ Hopping Toad and Fuller’s London Pride straight from the barrel. Supper was supplied with assistance from Jodie on the BBQ, and the whole evening went with a swing. Peter O’Nions
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 Queens Arms-
An end terrace back-street local, single bar pub which is off the beaten track from the tourist centre of town, but is well worth finding. It always has one real ale at a discounted price (currently £2.60). They serve a good Sunday lunch and a Monday meal deal (eg chilli or bangers and mash and pint £5) Good friendly community boozer with live music at the weekend.
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.