HEREFORDSHIRE PUBS OF THE YEAR 2012
Sixth Win for the Barrels
It has been almost non-stop celebration for Hereford's Barrels in 2012. Soon after the success of its 25th Beer Festival in raising £25,000 for local charities, we were able (not unexpectedly!) to announce its 25th consecutive entry in the Good Beer Guide. To round off the year The Barrels has been selected as Herefordshire CAMRA’s Pub of the Year 2012.
A veteran of this competition, it has already won the top spot five times, as well as being runner-up twice. And there would surely have been more wins were it not for our local rule that the winning pub each year stands down from the competition the following year.
Things have changed behind the scenes. Peter and Fran Amor are slowly getting accustomed to living in their own home for the first time, and Phil Pryce has assumed full control. This is a seamless transition, as Phil has also been there throughout those 25 years.
The Barrels is one of the last traditional multi-roomed pubs in left Hereford, its four bars attracting a wide range of clientele. It is a pub that appeals to many tastes, supporting quiz, crib, pool and ladies and gents skittles teams. Whether you are a diehard local or a first-time visitor to the city, you will always find a warm welcome at the Barrels. Freed from the need to accommodate Wye Valley Brewery, a new bar and function room has been established, and the outdoor areas have evolved steadily over recent years. As a result, the courtyard is perpetually lively, seemingly irrespective of the weather. The Barrels sells all of the Wye Valley award-winning beer range, including the monthly specials, and also Thatchers Heritage draught cider.
The Barrels, 69 St. Owen Street, Hereford HR1 2JQ. (01432) 274968 Open 11am - 11.30pm daily (midnight Fri/Sat)
Alma up there Again!
The Alma is no stranger to CAMRA pub awards. Now featuring for the sixth time, it is back again as Runner-up and Country Pub of the Year. Clearly, enthusiastic licensees Graham & Linda Webb are continuing to maintain their very high standards.
The Alma is unashamedly a drinkers’ pub, and nails the myth that country pubs have to have restaurants to survive these days. Emphasis is on providing a convivial atmosphere where everyone, whatever their background, feels comfortable. A visit to this comfortable pub will be rewarded with Oakham JHB, Butcombe Bitter and Malvern Hills Black Pear in superb condition. Guest beers often feature from Malvern Hills and Wye Valley Breweries. Informal live music features in the bar on the last Thursday of the month - bring your own instrument!
Highlight of the Alma's year is undoubtedly the Linton Music Festival, held around mid-summer, which features real ale and a dozen or so international bands. It all started back 2001 when it was realised it would be cheaper to get The Producers to come to Linton, rather than hire a mini bus and drive all the way to Dorset. More recently the main festival has been supplemented by a slightly less ambitious one-day Summer Sessions event in August - also featuring real ale.
Alma Inn, Linton HR9 7RY: (Linton is just off Junction 3 of the M50). Open Mondays to Fridays: 6-11 (not open weekday lunchtimes); Saturdays: 12-3 & 6-11; Sundays: 12-3 & 7-10.30. Facilities include an open coal fire, pool table, gardens and camping nearby. Telephone: (01989) 720355. WebsiteWebsite: www.almainnlinton.co.uk