Published: 12:15, 24 May 2017
| Updated: 12:23, 24 May 2017
After two years of coming second, a beer cafe is raising a celebratory toast after being named pub of the year by the West Kent branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).
The branch hands out various awards once a year, with scoring based on beer quality, atmosphere, service, community involvement and helping to promote beer and pubs.
Fuggles Beer Cafe in Tunbridge Wells was officially crowned at a presentation last week.
The Grosvenor Road business has previously been the runner up for this award in both 2015 and 2016, and owner Alex Greig was thrilled to have finally made it to the top spot.
“It’s great to win pub of the year for West Kent. It’s so good to be recognised for all the hard work that goes into running the pub, especially for the team that help me do, it’d be impossible without them and they really make the place what it is,” he said.
Runners up included The Windmill in Sevenoaks and The Halfway House in Brenchley.
The award for most improved pub went to The Toad Rock Retreat in Rusthall, which has recently been taken over by new management.
Craig Beeson, branch chairman, said: “All the pubs included in this competition achieve a level of excellence to be commended, with the top three in this year’s competition chopping and changing right up to the last scores being computed, and as such it was impossible to predict.
“Alex has, with Fuggles Beer Cafe, helped to transform the beer scene in our area, particularly in Tunbridge Wells, serving quality cask beer and other craft ales, extending the range of products available to the public, whilst encouraging competition by setting new standards for the industry in respect of customer service and staff knowledge, and thoroughly deserves the recognition this award will bring.”
Fuggles will now go through to the regional Camra awards.