Brewer lifts a glass to cask ale pub

THE licensees at an award-winning pub have spoken of their pride after picking up the national “Abbot Ale Cask Ale Pub of the Year” trophy.

Adrian Smith and Karen Beaumont, who run the Dove Street Inn in Ipswich, received the award, sponsored by Abbot Ale brewer Greene King, at the Great British Pub Awards, organised by the Morning Advertising trade publication.

The Dove Street Inn beat of competition from thousands of pubs across the country which serve traditional cask-conditioned, or “real”, ale.

It was awarded the accolade following stringent assessments by independent pub industry experts, with the licensees lauded for their dedication to the quality and variety of cask beer available.

They received particular praise for their innovative use of technology, such as using six small screens to tell customers about the beers available, including tasting notes.

Adrian and Karen have also devised a loyalty scheme where regulars are awarded points for each pint of ale they buy which they can redeem on food and drink in the pub.

The pub also hosts three annual beer festivals, with the most recent attracting 7,000 real ale aficionados who enjoyed sampling the 89 different brews on offer.

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Speaking after the awards ceremony, Adrian said: “To be named the Abbot Ale Cask Pub of the Year is absolutely unbelievable, and has come as a complete surprise.

“Our range of cask ales are at the heart of what the Dove Street Inn is all about, so to be recognised as the best in Britain is such an honour for us and the whole team at the pub.”

John Bexon, Greene King’s head brewer in Bury St Edmunds where Abbot Ale is brewed, alongside other popular beers such as Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen, said: “Big congratulations to Adrian, Karen and the whole team at the Dove Street Inn for this award.

“The Abbot Ale Cask Pub of the Year title is a terrific accolade, and one that they richly deserve for their hard work and dedication in making their pub the best for cask beer.

“Adrian and Karen are a credit to the industry and their commitment to serving cask beer of the highest quality helps to cement its status as our national drink.

“For this reason, I applaud the Dove Street Inn and will be raising a pint of Abbot Ale to them this evening.”

Other winners from the East of England at the Great British Pub Awards included the White Horse at Ramsden Heath, near Billericay (Best Family Pub), the Quart Pot at Runwell, near Wickford (Best Managed Pub) and the White Horse at Brancaster Staithe (Best Creative Outdoor Area).

Finalists from the region also included the Victory at West Mersea (Best Food Pub) and the Anchor Inn, Nayland (Best Green Pub). The overall Great British Pub of the Year title went to Battlesteads, from Wark-on-Tyne in Northumberland, which won the Best Green Pub award.