Queens Arms, Brixham - Winner 2014
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 2014 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 some of his staff and the photo below shows branch chairman Bob Southwell (pictured right) with them during the presentation.
Pub of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Queen's Arms in Brixham.
From left: cleaner Carol Sutton, barmaid Chloe-Anne Eccles, barmaid Bobbie Walsh,
barman Aaron Turner, landlord Chris Simmonds, South Devon CAMRA
Carol Sutton, Chloe-Anne Eccles, Chris Simmonds, and Bobbie Walsh
THE Queen’s Arms in Brixham has been crowned the South Devon pub of the year. The pub in Station Hill topped the vote by local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) members on the quality of its real ale as well as its decor, value for money, customer service and community focus. The landlord, Chris Simmonds, has run the pub for just over two years, and in that time served more than 250 different real ales.
Before Christmas, the pub held its first charity beer festival featuring more than 20 beers from across the country, with an emphasis on local brews. The three-day festival raised over £1,300 which was divided between Shoalstone Pool and Papworth Hospital. Chris was overwhelmed when told he had won the award, placing his pub top of the 29 pubs the branch is allowed in the annual Good Beer Guide.
The branch area extends from Salcombe to Teignmouth on the coast, and up to the middle of Dartmoor. Chris said: “The award is not just for me, it’s for the people who use the pub and the staff. “I’m very proud, not just for me but my family. Both of my brothers have pubs in Peterborough and one was the winner there and the other was the runner-up. I’m proud to keep up the family tradition. “The Queen’s Arms was all but closed when I took it over. It’s a tough time for pubs and it’s nice to be recognised for raising the standards.”
CAMRA has announced its local pubs of the year to help launch Community Pubs Month. The Queens Arms will now go forward to the regional heats in their quest to become national pub of the year, announced in early 2015. We wish them the best of luck!
A little more about the Queens Arms -
This is an end-of-terrace back-street local (previously associated with the now defunct railway station) that has over the last three years, become the heart of the local community. It has a small one room bar with a wood-burning stove, and serves six changing ales, two of which are supplied by Hunter's Brewery. One is always priced at £2.50. The pub hosts real ale events throughout the year and holds an a beer festival each year. Live music on Saturdays.
It's open 4pm - midnight Mon - Thu and noon - midnight Fri - Sun
Telephone: (01803) 852074. Twitter: @queensarmsbrixh
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.