The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has named the best four member clubs in the country as part of its Club of the Year competition and they include the Greater Manchester Club Of The Year Flixton Conservative Club (which won the award in 2018)
The other finalists include two other former winners, the Cheltenham Motor Club in Gloucestershire (2017) and the Appleton Thorn Village Hall in Warrington (2019).
The Orpington Liberal Club in Greater London is also in the running, which has made it to the final four in past years.
Keith Spencer, Club of the Year Coordinator said: “Congratulations to all of the finalists. The fact that there are so many well-known faces in the competition demonstrates that these four truly represent the very clubs in the country. All four clubs demonstrate a first-class commitment to real ale and dedication to the respective communities they serve, making them absolutely vital to their local areas.”
CAMRA Club of the Year competition is run in conjunction with Club Mirror magazine with the simple aim of finding the clubs with the greatest commitment to quality real ale. It takes into consideration clubs that offer a fantastic atmosphere, welcoming surroundings and most importantly, top quality real ale served in great condition.
Sean Ferris, Publishing Director of Club Mirror said: “Now, more than ever, clubs are proving to be at the heart of the community and we’re proud to have been working with them to secure this position for the past 51 years. Next year? Our determination – and theirs – will be even stronger. We’ll be campaigning and lobbying to ensure that they remain where they should be, at the heart of the community, despite so many closures in other sections of the local area.”
The finalists were announced at the Club Mirror dinner last night. They will now have to wait until spring next year to discover which will be named CAMRA’s Club of the Year.
All images available to view here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3g75d4h8wj62kh4/AAC1cU8TNhEm6vonJQdYqFCta?dl=0
Stretton Road, Appleton Thorn, Warrington, WA4 4RT
The bar serves a cosy lounge and a larger function room with a pool room. Stained glass fringes the lounge while the function room is adorned with period agricultural implements. Welcoming staff will give tasters of the seven regularly changing ales, together with ciders and perries. Sunday lunches are popular, as is the new gin bar.
193 Flixton Road, Urmston, Manchester M41 5DF
With six handpumps on its main bar, this CAMRA award-winning club continues to display a genuine commitment to selling quality real ales and the occasional real cider. A further five pumps upstairs allow the club to run monthly brewery nights with a small entry fee, pie and peas included. Various other events are held including a regular quiz night. The club is home to a wide range of sports teams including snooker, bowls darts, dominoes and chess.
7 Station Road, Orpington, BR6 0RZ
The superb club is free of tie and is run by a committee of real ale enthusiasts who don’t serve regular beers, but purely guests with particular focus on LocAles and microbreweries. A changing range of real ciders and perries are always available, as a small range of local canned and bottled real and gluten-free beers. Prices are extremely competitive. The club has regular live music, runs beer festivals twice per year, and frequently has “meet the brewer” evenings.
Upper Park Street, Cheltenham, GL52 6SA
Located just outside the town centre in the former Crown Inn. This friendly and welcoming club, formed in 1906, is open to all, card-carrying CAMRA members are always welcome. The enthusiastic steward normally keeps six ales on tap, one generally from Moor Beer, a key-cask typically from Deya, and at least three ciders including Thatcher’s Heritage cider plus a range of Belgian beers in bottles. The club is divided into a bar/TV room, now with additional snug and a games room separated by a folding partition. The bar is decorated with various motoring paraphernalia.