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Real ales pull in the prizes for pubs as Camra dish out awards

The Stone Jug, Clophill.

The Stone Jug, Clophill.

A popular pub tucked away in a village street has won the top award from Camra this year.

The Stone Jug in Clophill is no stranger to prizes and is this year’s North Beds Pub of the Year.

Run by Vicki Stevens and her mum Joyce, the pub set in a 16th century building sells three regular real ales and two guest ales, and has been selling Shefford’s Banks and Taylor beers for more than 30 years.

Vicki, 41, said: “It is lovely because in these times and with long winter months it is nice to get some cheerful, good news.

“It’s nice to get recognition and know that we are doing something right.”

Mum Joyce, who is 78, still helps out in the pub which the family - including the late Arthur Stevens - have run since 1981. The truly local community pub has won 33 entries in Camra’s Good Beer Guide.

Best known for its range of real ales, often from local microbreweries, home-cooked lunches are available from Tuesday to Saturday.

The Stone Jug will now go on to compete for the East Anglia regional title.

>> The Burnaby Arms, in Stanley Street, Bedford has been named Town Pub of the Year.

For long a neglected corner local, the Burnaby was finally refurbished by Charles Wells and began to thrive again under landlords Lucie and Stephen Fuller who have been serving real ales there for a couple of years. The pub now attracts locals and customers from across town.

Lucie said: “We were thrilled to hear that we had won because we are tucked away. We love doing what we do and its nice to receive the recognition.

“We are a traditional local pub in the heart of the community and we try to make the Burnaby what people want it to be.”

The Most Improved Pub last year, the Burnaby offers four handpump ales and guest beers, in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Lucie added: “We serve a real mix of people, such as those coming in after work and friends meeting up. This award is also for our customers who support us and our events.”

Visit www.burnabyarmsbedford.co.uk

>> A village pub rescued from closure which has now been relaunched and refurbished has won Camra’s Most Improved Pub this year.

The Sun in Felmersham is now run by Ben and Hannah Just, both in their twenties, who are thrilled by the accolade for themselves and the villagers who have supported them.

Closed by Charles Wells in 2012, The Sun became a free house after a private purchase and re-opened last summer.

A delighted Hannah said: “We have had lots of help from the villagers who have been so supportive. This award proves it has been worth it all and to have this public recognition for the village is a lovely reward.”

The charming thatched pub in Grange Road has seen a thorough refurbishment which is now almost complete, with front and rear bars open. The new kitchen is due for completion in the spring when the couple will launch a menu.

A pub since 1820, the historic building features low beams and offers a warm welcome to visitors. The Sun offers a choice of beers that include guest ales from local microbreweries. Visit www.thesuninn-felmersham.com

Camra branch chairman Roger Stokes said: “I am delighted that we can honour three pubs in this way. They are all different but each seeks to serve, and is part of, its local community.

“Together they show a bit of the variety we find in our great British pubs and I look forward to visiting them again to present their awards.”

Framed certificates will be presented to all three pubs.

Visit www.northbedscamra.org.uk and www.whatpub.com

 

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