Tiger Inn Bridport

Tiger Inn Bridport

Tiger Inn Bridport

West Dorset branch of the Campaign for Real Ale [CAMRA] have this year named two Pubs of the Year. Usually there is only one, but it became impossible to choose between the two final shortlisted pubs, so the decision was made to name both.

“Our members nominate their favourite pubs- then a panel of judges goes round individually to inspect each of them,” explains CAMRA spokesman Michel Hooper-Immins. “This year our judges reported that the King’s Arms at Thornford and the Tiger Inn at Bridport were too close to separate, so we decided- exceptionally this year- to name both a Rural and a Town Pub of the Year.”

West Dorset members will however have to decide shortly which pub goes forward to the Wessex Regional Pub of the Year competition- to be judged against ten other pubs from East Dorset, Hampshire, parts of Somerset and Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

The CAMRA West Dorset Rural Pub of the Year is the King’s Arms at Thornford, three miles south of Sherborne. A traditional free house in the centre of the village and built in 1905, it is owned by the Digby estate. The 2012 CAMRA Good Beer Guide says: “The bar area is simple in decor, but offers a warm welcome to drinkers and diners alike.” This week, the three handpumps are dispensing Otter Bitter from Devon, Skinners Spriggan Ale from Cornwall and Fuller’s London Pride. Licensees Andrew and Ann Evans took over the King’s Arms in 2008 and bought the lease from the former Hidden Brewery two years later. Born at Keswick in the Lake District, Andrew is a teetotaller- unusual in a licensee. Wife Ann hails from Wiltshire. “We are just building a new restaurant,” says Ann Evans, “and we are naturally delighted and encouraged at winning this CAMRA accolade.”

The CAMRA West Dorset Town Pub of the Year is the Tiger Inn, Barrack Street, Bridport. “This bright and cheerful Victorian ale house offers a frequently changing beer list,” says the 2012 CAMRA Good Beer Guide. “The Tiger is a well hidden secret, worth seeking out.” This week, seven real ales have been served from four hand pumps, including St. Austell Tribute from Cornwall, Jimmy Riddle from the Dorset Piddle brewery, Stargazer from Yeovil and Wickwar Brand Oak Bitter from Gloucestershire. Londoners Graham & Jacqueline Taylor have been in the licensed trade for 22 years, coming to the Bridport free house five years ago, from a King & Barnes tenancy in Horsham. “We’re a community pub and our customers are very fond of rugby,” says Graham Taylor, “I am gobsmacked to win this Town Pub award and we are both very pleased.”

The West Dorset 2012 Pub of the Year certificates were presented by CAMRA’s Rich Gabe at the Dorchester Beer Festival.

WEST DORSET RURAL PUB OF THE YEAR 2012

The King’s Arms, Pound Road, Thornford. DT9 6QD. Tel. 01935 872294.

Licensees: Andrew & Ann Evans.

WEST DORSET TOWN PUB OF THE YEAR 2012

Tiger Inn, 14/16 Barrack Street, Bridport. DT6 3LY. Tel. 01308 427543.

Licensees: Graham & Jacqueline Taylor.


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