Thwaites celebrated innovation, transformation and excellence at their annual pub awards on Monday (June 19).
Eleven awards were presented, marking all aspects of the pub experience – from pints to food and community involvement to live sport.
John Bull Chophouse, Wigan, scooped the top accolade of Pub of the Year, along with the award for Best Pint.
Victoria Clark has been the tenant for 14 years – and the pub has been with her family for 43 years as she took over the helm from her dad, Harold Burgess. She said: “It’s unbelievable, I’m totally speechless to have won. It’s an amazing feeling and my dad would have been so made up.”
John Bull Chophouse is the second oldest building in Wigan but only became a pub in 1973 after it was bought by Thwaites. It is a wet-led pub, focussed on beer and with an outstanding reputation for its rock jukebox.
Thwaites Director of Pubs and Brewing, Andrew Buchanan, explained why it was chosen as pub of the year: “They do simple things extremely well and they do it consistently. People know exactly what to expect when they go and they are never disappointed. Put simply, it’s a fantastic pub, with a fantastic range of draught beer and cider, served to a consistently high quality with fantastic customer service. It’s a very worthy winner of our Pub of the Year award.”
Over 60 pubs entered the Awards for Excellence from around the Thwaites estate and the winners were announced at a celebration event at Cottons Hotel & Spa, Cheshire.
Other winners were:
- Best Pub Dining – Swan & Cemetery, Bury
- Best Marketing – White Bull, Alston
- Best Sky Sports Pub – Park Inn, Lancaster
- Best Newcomer – Winterburn, Halifax
- Best Turnaround – White Bull, Oswaldtwistle
- Best Pub Fayre – Hare & Hounds, Todmorden
- Best Customer Experience – Gamecock Inn, Austwick
- Best Community Involvement – Black Dog, Oswaldtwistle
- Best Trainer – Old Queen’s Head, Sheffield
Thwaites Chief Executive Officer, Rick Bailey, said: “The pub sector is extremely competitive and all our pubs work really hard to make their business a success.
“These awards always highlight the passion, quality and creativity that go into running a successful pub. The judges always have a very difficult time deciding the overall winners, which is testimony to the sheer number of inspiring people who have chosen to work with us.
“We are delighted to celebrate their success and champion the superb businesses they run.”