Two Norfolk pubs have been presented with prestigious awards this week from the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale).
Colin Smith, the landlord of The Locks Inn, Geldeston in South Norfolk received both certificates for the Rural and overall Norwich & Norfolk Pub of the Year for 2013 on Tuesday 16th July with many CAMRA members attending the monthly branch meeting at the pub.
Colin said he was delighted with the awards after a particularly tough winter and being unable to open for a few weeks due to flooding where water was waist deep around the pub!
He continued that he was incredibly proud of the recognition from CAMRA and that it is a great reward for “Team Lock”, his excellent young staff who have been getting even more passionate about real ales and ciders since the awards were announced. The recent good weather is bringing many people to visit and re-visit the Locks Inn and enjoy the large, river-fronting garden.
On Thursday 18th July the Norwich City Pub of the Year and Norwich & Norfolk Cider Pub of the Year, as well as the silver award in the East Anglian CAMRA Regional Cider Pub of Year certificates were presented to Ben and Becky Ackers of The White Lion, Oak Street in front of a crowd of regulars and CAMRA members.
Ben said "we're reasonably well-known for our commitment to stocking the best range of quality real ciders and perries possible, and it's great to continue to be recognised for doing so, but to be voted City Pub of the Year 2013 for everything else we do was totally unexpected.
"Norwich has so many excellent pubs and so much variety in terms of real ale and I understand it was quite a close call. The quality of the pubs we were up against was phenomenal, and I know since they are places we try to visit whenever we can!
"When we took over in September 2011, never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd soon be receiving three awards on the same night. We want to say a special thank you to our staff, without whom none of this would have happened, especially for running the pub so well when we were on our honeymoon in May/June”.
Warren Wordsworth, Chairman of Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA, said the success of the Locks Inn was a great example of non-bias towards Norwich pubs with one of the most remote pubs in Norfolk winning the N&N branch’s major pub award and also that the White Lion thoroughly deserved their trio of awards.
He also said “the contrast between the two pubs, with the White Lion being close to the city centre, just proved how lucky we are in Norfolk to have such diversity of pubs”.