Sun, 02 Jun 2019
Staff at The Bell Inn, Aldworth, are celebrating after winning a prestigious pub award.
The Bell was crowned West Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Pub of the Year.
Landlord Hugh Macaulay took the opportunity to praise his workers, who he described as “part of the family”.
Of the award, he stressed that it was “a real family and staff endeavour”.
The Pub of the Year award was originally designed to recognise pubs dedicated to producing authentic, high-quality beers and ales.
In recent years, however, judges have increasingly taken into account the role nominated pubs play in their communities.
West Berkshire CAMRA chairman Andy Pickard praised the pub for its exceptional service to Aldworth.
He added: “Great beer is a given for The Bell Inn, as its continuing presence in the Good Beer Guide evidences, but [it] also stands out for its inclusive nature … a traditional pub in its pure form – great beer, wholesome food, and interesting conversation is the norm.”
Also at hand to celebrate were The Bell Inn’s suppliers, represented by Nick Arkell (Arkell’s Brewery), Tim Wale (Tutts Clump Cider) and Kevin Brady (Indigenous Brewery).
The Bell Inn has been owned by the same family for more than 250 years.
While many brewery-owned pubs struggled to keep the beer flowing during the Second World War, the inn never ran dry, making it a favourite with American troops stationed at Basildon Park.
It has proven a staple of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide, appearing in every edition since 1979.
The pub now progresses to the county round of judging, where it will compete with The Nag’s Head, Reading; The Crispin, Wokingham, and the Craufurd Arms, Maidenhead.