CAMRA Greater London regional presentations

A LIFELONG FRIENDSHIP WINS JOHN YOUNG MEMORIAL AWARD

Friendship can create some interesting outcomes and the evolution of the Craft Beer Company is a good example of how small starts can lead to something bigger! Martin Hayes met Peter Slezak when they were both twelve and they have been friends ever since. Martin took over the Pimlico Tram, a closed, rough Greene King pub and transformed it into the free of tie Cask Pub and Kitchen. Peter joined him shortly after to build the Craft Beer Co, now a chain of nine pubs around London, all of which were pubs where other operators had given up.

To recognise their work in rescuing pubs for the community, the pair have been given the 2019 John Young Memorial Award, which is made annually in celebration of an individual or organisation that has done the most for real ale and/or pubs within the Greater London area.

The quote from Martin gives a good example of why they run good pubs and the reason for their name, “I’m passionate about pubs and hospitality. I’ve always thought that you should care about what you do. Craft beer is a confused term but for me, craft simply means good beer, whether cans, cask, bottles or keg.”

The award shield was presented to Martin in the Pimlico pub by Torquil Sligo Young (right), nephew of John Young.

GREATER LONDON PUB OF THE YEAR

As mentioned in the last edition, the winner of CAMRA’s Greater London Pub of the Year was the Hope in Carshalton.

This was their fifth win in eight years so you have to admire the way that they maintain their standards. Their recent refurbishment simply made a good pub better. The award was presented on 31 October during their recent beer festival. A good crowd enjoyed the special festival beers with several brewers present.

GREATER LONDON CLUB OF THE YEAR

In October Orpington Liberal Club were presented with a certificate to mark their winning the competition for CAMRA’s Greater London Region Club of the Year. In presenting the award, our Regional Director congratulated this volunteer-run club on its success, not only in continuing to serve an excellent range of quality beers but also for the use of the club hall as a live music venue and by numerous local community groups, including neighbouring charities.

From left to right: Martin Curry, Geoff Strawbridge and Peter Muldoon

Bob Keaveney (photo by Chris Crowther)

GREATER LONDON CIDER PUB OF THE YEAR

Nick Hair, landlord of the Kentish Belle, found his micropub honoured by the London Cider Group on 24 October when he was presented with the Greater London Cider Pub of the Year award for 2019, having been voted CAMRA’s Bexley Branch’s Cider Pub of the Year earlier in the summer.

The group, led by Ian White (top right in this picture) and including a number of members of CAMRA South East London branch, were there to oversee the festivities. Ian made the presentation as CAMRAs Greater London Regional Cider Co-ordinator.

The Kentish Belle can be found at 8 Pickford Lane, Bexleyheath, close to the station.
With thanks to Roland Amos