A Conservative club has achieved a remarkable hat trick as it is judged Greater Manchester’s Club of the Year.
Flixton Conservative club at the corner of Chassen Road and Flixton Road is no stranger to awards, having been named top club by the local Trafford and Hulme Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch for a staggering five successive years. But despite a challenge from six of the best clubs across the region, an expert team of judges marked Flixton the Greater Manchester winner for the third year running.
Real Ale takes pride of place on the bar, with six handpumps dispensing a choice of beers. There are also two ciders or perry available. Stewards Nigel and Sharon Porter have been encouraged by the club committee to promote beers from popular Greater Manchester breweries alongside beers from further afield. This spirit of adventure culminates on the last Friday of each month with a ‘Meet the Brewer’ event featuring ales from a specially-selected brewer.
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 five 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 Caroline O’Donnell 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 Nigel and Sharon 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.”
Stewards Nigel and Sharon Porter were presented with the award by CAMRA’s regional director Graham Donning. Nigel 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.”
Sharon 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! ”
The club now goes forward to the next round of the competition, with four finalists announced at the Club Mirror magazine awards night at Doncaster Racecourse in November.
The runner up in the regional Club of the Year is the Standish Unity club, Cross Street, Standish
- In 2017 the finalists were:
Standish Unity club (Wigan branch)
- Ladybarn Social club (Stockport and South Manchester branch)
- Elton Liberal Club, Bury (Rochdale, Oldham & Bury branch)
- Flixton Conservative club (Trafford & Hulme branch)
- Eccles Rugby Union club ( Salford branch)
- Bolton Ukrainian club (Bolton branch)
- Astley and Tyldesley Miners’ Welfare club (South East Lancs branch)