CAMRA Greater Manchester Club of the Year Winner 2021

Photograph of staff with award certificate at Flixton Conservative Club – Pat Doherty third from left, Andrea Doherty third from right.

Magnificent Seven as Flixton dominates Greater Manchester

A Conservative club has been judged Greater Manchester’s Club of the Year for an astonishing seventh year. 

Flixton Conservative club at the corner of Chassen Road and Flixton Road is no stranger to awards, having been named national club of the year in 2018. It has been hailed as top club by the local Trafford and Hulme Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch every year since 2013. But despite a challenge from five of the best clubs across the region, an expert team of judges marked Flixton the clear winner of the Greater Manchester title yet again.

Real Ale takes pride of place on the bar, with six handpumps dispensing a choice of beers. The club supports local breweries and beers from Pictish, Dunham Massey and Blackedge often feature. The club’s commitment to ale even extends to growing their own hops!

Stewards Andrea and Pat Doherty took over a winning formula in 2019 and despite the devastation wreaked on all hospitality during the pandemic have worked hard to bounce back.  A lively programme of entertainment at weekends sees local bands and nationally-renown tribute acts tempting members and their guests back after the restrictions closed the club for long periods last year and until mid-May 2021.

The club is housed in a former cottage hospital, and boasts four full-size snooker tables and a bowling green.  For the less active, large screen TVs show all the top sports channels. An upstairs function room offers two more handpumps.

The Good Beer Guide-listed club is a members-only establishment, but applications from new members are welcome.  CAMRA cardholders can be signed in on production of their membership cards.

CAMRA’s regional judging organiser Tony Evans said: “This award recognises and rewards excellence, and encourages other clubs to aim for high standards. Flixton Conservative club has an outstanding commitment to real ale, not just from the stewards but also their members who clearly enjoy old favourites and new beers.

“Our judges were impressed with the welcoming environment, value for money and the quality of the real ales and cider on offer. Many mentioned the knowledge of bar staff about the ales served, a reflection of the impact good stewards have in promoting and maintaining cask ale. To have retained the title of the regions’ top club for another year is a remarkable achievement.”

The club was presented with the award by CAMRA’s Regional Director Phil Moss on Saturday 20th November. He said: “This club , like every other pub, club and licensed premises across the country has come through a very difficult time. It’s a tribute to the resilience of the stewards, staff and club committee that it has rebounded to once again achieve the highest standards of hospitality. And the quality of their beer has once again won over judges drawn from across the region. Flixton sets the standard for all clubs to aim for.”

Steward Pat Doherty said: “I’m delighted to accept the award on behalf of the Club committee. A love of real ale is a shared value at Flixton. We have a supportive committee, an excellent team of staff, and, of course, appreciative members who enjoy the range of ales we can offer.”

Andrea Doherty added: “We have many loyal longstanding members, but those who apply to join the club often cite the choice and quality of real ale we offer as a reason to join! “