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Cheers! Two Hungerford watering holes voted West Berkshire's best by CAMRA

CAMRA awards are bittersweet moment for winners amid coronavirus closures

John Garvey

John Garvey


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WEST Berkshire Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has voted for two Hungerford establishments as its pub and club of the year.

The John O’Gaunt Inn in Bridge Street has been voted the branch’s Pub of the Year, while the Hungerford Club is the Club of the Year

The awards will be bitter sweet – the club is closed due to the coronavirus while The John O’Gaunt Inn is providing a takeaway service for beer and meals.

Licensee Mark Genders is no stranger to such awards – he steered his previous pub, The Five Bells at Wickham, to a similar award and went on to win CAMRA’s South Central Pub of the Year award in 2014.

The John O’Gaunt Inn is a freehouse and stocks ales and ciders from local breweries, as well as Mr Genders’ own brews from the INNFormal microbrewing company based in the town.

The CAMRA Good Beer Guide says of it: “Historic 16th-century listed town centre pub named after the Duke of Lancaster.

“There are eight handpumps for ale and the range changes constantly, complemented by a large selection of real ciders and bottled beers from around the world.

“At least two beers are always  from the pub’s own brewery,

“A Tiki Bar was added in the garden in 2019 and is open during the summer months.”

Meanwhile, the Hungerford Club has retained its title of West Berkshire CAMRA’s Club of the Year.

The Good Beer Guide says: “A warm welcome is assured at this comfortable tennis, bowls and social club, situated in the quiet Croft, a few yards west of the busy High Street.

“Indoor games such as darts, billiards and snooker are also played here.

“The changing guest beer, sourced nationally, is often chosen by club members. A beer festival is held over the August bank holiday. CAMRA members are welcome.”

Both establishments will be formally presented with their awards at a later date. 

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Article comments

  • CommonHungerforder

    30/03/2020 - 19:56

    The Hungerford Club is the ONLY club up for the award every year. Some years it is not named as the branch club of the year, as in they do not even award a Club of the Year. Now that always baffles me, but it's true. Just one club, no competition. Nothing against the great work Mark does, but surrounding branches will be questioning why it's not the Bell, Aldworth when they are able to visit/vote. Why, well the Bell was NATIONAL Pub of the Year in 2019, awarded a month or so ago, and 1990. That's some achievement, but it may have done better if the local CAMRA committee put if forward every year, and not every other year. Now out of the running for 2020 award. It will be in the GBG next year, but John O'Gaunt is the West Berkshire pub to go forward. Nothing anyone can do to have the Bell in the competition this time. Good luck to Mark as he deserves it, as he's been doing good stuff for a decade or more.