Here I go again
In the June issue of Pub & Bar, it has now become customary for me to harp on about how wonderful this industry is and how the National Pub & Bar Awards winners of (insert year) are testament to that. Well, why break tradition?
You know what? It’s an easy topic to write about, as the message is sincere and genuinely heartfelt. Every year for the past four years I have stood on that stage in front of 250 elite on-trade operators and have been humbled by the talent in the audience before me. This year was no different. What’s more, while stood behind my lectern, it was wonderful to see such a diverse set of operators all sat in one room, or all in one row for that matter! ‘Row four’ of the theatre, which strangely accommodated a number of Regional Award winners this year, had the guys from the New World Trading Company sat next to the team from Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars, who were next to the operators from The Steamboat Inn, four-time County Winners from Dumfries and Galloway. I asked myself, when else would these talented folk from across the UK rub shoulders and raise glasses together? It was great to see.
The night was a big success, with 94 pubs and bars from their respective counties all making their way to London to collect their County Winner certificates from BAFTA 195 Piccadilly. While they were also hoping to be named the best in their region or even the best in the UK (congrats to Mobberley’s The Church Inn
once again), the main message of on-trade celebration was palpable throughout the evening. You can read all about this year’s National Pub & Bar Awards by turning to our special event coverage on page 18
Elsewhere in this issue we have a new feature entitled ‘Young Blood in Pubs’, which turns the spotlight on two up and coming talents within the industry (page 28
). We’ve got a review of The Joker in Croydon (page 50
), a big piece on beer (page 34), and I do my best to sit firmly on the fence when looking at beer brand buyouts across the market (page 40
Tristan O’Hana - Editor