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Pubs of the Year 2015
The Derby Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has selected its Pubs of the Year for 2015.
The City Pub of the Year is the Alexandra Hotel on Siddals Road with the runner-up being Furnace Inn on Duke Street in Derby.
The Country Pub of the Year is the Royal Oak in Ockbrook with the runner-up being the Royal Oak in Wirksworth.
It's the first time the Alexandra Hotel has won it under licensees, Anna & Ralf Edge (pictured receiving their awards) while the Royal Oak has been a previous winner.
The competition as always was keenly fought with a shortlist of 7 pubs (Alexandra Hotel, Brunswick Inn, Furnace Inn and the Golden Eagle in Derby and the Cross Keys in Ockbrook, Royal Oak in Ockbrook and Royal Oak in Wirksworth) being drawn up by votes from the entire Derby Branch Membership. A team of 17 independent judges then visited each pub and marked the finalists over a 5 week period, visiting unannounced on different days of the week and at different times of the day. Each pub was judged in the following categories: - quality of the beer; atmosphere, style & decor of the pub; service and welcome; community focus; sympathy with CAMRA aims and whether it was a good value visit or not.
Derby CAMRA Chairman, Gareth Stead said, "That the competition had been particularly tough this year as all the pubs were very good but both the Alexandra Hotel and Royal Oak are more than worthy winners where good beer and atmosphere are guaranteed."
He continued, "The Alex was the original birthplace of Derby CAMRA and its transformation in recent years back to great real ale local has been nothing short of remarkable and credit must be given to licensees, Anna & Ralf Edge for the tremendous amount of work they have put in to achieving this."
He also added that, "The Royal Oak in Ockbrook is simply a great village local right at the heart of community life which has been in the Good Beer Guide for 39 years due to the quality of its ales."
The Alexandra Hotel has also been crowned Derby CAMRA Pub of the Year 2015 by virtue of having the highest overall mark and it will now go forward into the Derbyshire Pub of the Year competition. Here it will compete with the winners of other local CAMRA Branches awards from Amber Valley, Ashbourne, Chesterfield, Erewash Valley, High Peak, Matlock & Dales, Mansfield, and Sheffield.
The winner of the Derbyshire round will be announced later in the year after a similar judging process has taken place.