South Devon

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Pub Awards

Pub Awards

  • Pub Of The Year 2019 Tuesday 20 August 2019

    The Taphouse and Bottle Shop in Newton Abbot wins Town Pub and Overall Pub of the Year 2019, two years after founders Jonathan Webber and Richard Goodfellow decided over a beer to open a micro pub, and realised the potential of The Maltings as the perfect venue. Initially run by Sam Webber it was seamlessly taken over by current manager Becks Connett.

    Over at The Tally Ho in Littlehempston, Mike and Kelly Joiner have won Country Pub of the Year 2019. They maintain the community ethos that was at the heart of previous owner Littlehempston Community Pub’s concept. At the time of writing Mike is planning his next beer and music festival over the weekend of 17 & 18th August.

    Dale Holwell at the Conservative Club in Shaldon received the Club of the Year award as he leaves the club. We thank him for his welcome to CAMRA members and wish him the best for the future.

    The Bridford Inn in Bridford won the Cider Pub of the Year 2019.

  • Pub of the Year awards for 2018 Saturday 7 April 2018


    Pub of the Year 2018 – Bridford Inn, Bridford

    Runner Up – Crown and Sceptre, St Marychurch, Torbay

    Town Pub of the Year – Crown and Sceptre, St Marychurch, Torbay

    Runner Up – Blue Anchor Teignmouth

    Country Pub of the Year – Bridford Inn, Bridford

    Runner Up – Tally Ho, Littlehempston

    Cider Pub of the Year – The Cider Bar, Newton Abbot

    Runner Up Cider Pub of the Year - Bridford Inn, Bridford

    Club of the Year – Shaldon Conservative Club


    Each year a shortlist of 4 pubs, 2 ‘Town’ and 2 ‘Country’ from our 29 Good Beer Guide entries, is compiled to compete for the accolade of Pub of the Year.

    This year these comprised the Blue Anchor in Teignmouth and Crown and Sceptre in St.Marychurch (Town) and Bridford Inn in the Teign Valley and Tally Ho at Littlehempston (Country). Members who subsequently visited all four were then eligible to vote at the selection meeting, first choosing their two favourites. This resulted in the Crown and Sceptre and Bridford Inn going forward to the head-to-head stage. These two pubs were then judged on a number of factors, with beer quality foremost, but also things such as Atmosphere and Welcome, Value for Money, and Clientele Mix. The upshot of all this was that the Bridford Inn was declared Pub of the Year, with the Crown and Sceptre Runner Up, and the Blue Anchor and Tally Ho respective Town and Country runners-up.

    Now all that remained was to present the awards. A minibus was hired for Saturday, 7th April, and a party of us set off to the Teign Valley and the Bridford Inn. Dean and Lyn Stanisforth have run the pub, a 17th century Devon Longhouse, for 5 and a half years and it also contains the village shop. Presenting the awards (the pub was also runner-up Cider Pub of the Year) our branch chairman, Bob Southwell, commented on what had been achieved in an ‘out on a limb’ location and how the pub managed a great mix of drinkers and diners.

    Our next stop was the Tally Ho, runner-up Country Pub of the Year. This is the first community-owned pub in South Devon and as such has been open for 4 years now. Bob congratulated landlord Ian Bowers on the pub’s continued success and intimated that the pub had become a model for other community groups engaged in similar projects.

    Off to the coast next, where the Blue Anchor has become known as Teignmouth’s ‘real ale pub’. It is also runner-up as town Pub of the Year. Presenting this award to Adele Hearne and Luke Stewart, Bob enthused about the excellent range of ales including, unusually, some dark beers. He further commented on how convivial the pub was.

    Our final stop, the Crown and Sceptre in St.Marychurch, has been run by the Wheeler family for 43 years, with son Dave in charge for the last five. As regards awards the pub received two for being the overall runner-up and Town Pub of the Year. That makes three presentations so far this year for the Crown and Sceptre as Dave received an award in February for his family’s 40 plus year commitment to the pub and beer excellence.

    Peter O’Nions

  • Unique award for the Crown & Sceptre in St Marychurch Tuesday 13 February 2018

    Receiving his award for the longest number of years in GBG.At our South Devon CAMRA branch meeting on Tuesday, 13th February we presented David Wheeler, pictured right, with a very special long service award, the first of its kind for the branch.

    It was to recognise the fact that David, and his parents Roy and Heather Wheeler before him, have clocked up over 40 years running the Crown & Sceptre in St Marychurch, and have achieved a place in the GBG for 36 of those years.

    Roy and Heather took over the pub in 1975 back in CAMRA's formative years and ever since then it has not only been a hub for real ale in the Torquay area but has always been a community focussed pub with a strong local following. Sadly Roy and Heather passed away in 2012 and 2015 and were a hard act to follow but David has done a great job since taking over the role of landlord and the pub is still as popular as ever.

    Up to 8 real ales are served and although more food is served these days it is still very much a pub where conversation over a quality pint of real ale is king, and it is a pub that is packed full of character.

    If you've never been to the Crown, make sure you put it on your list to visit this year.

  • Champion Landlord and Landlady of the Rugglestone Tuesday 10 October 2017

    Landlord presentationThis is a new award made to landlords who have had a tenure of ten years or more and whose pub has been in the Good Beer Guide for the whole of that period.

    Richard and Vicki at the Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-in-the-Moor have far exceeded the span of 10 years in the GBG.

    Landlord presentation night at the Rugglestone.This award was given to them on the 10th of October by Ian Packham, pictured left, ably assisted by many of the pub's local customers and by a minibus full of CAMRA members, pictured on the right enjoying the pub's excellent ales.

  • Champion Landlord presentation at the Exeter Inn, Ashburton Tuesday 10 October 2017

    Landlord presentationThis is a new award made to landlords who have a tenure of ten years or more and whose pub has been in the Good Beer Guide for the whole of that period.

    Ian Packham gave the award to Jim McNichol, the landlord of the Exeter Inn at Ashburton. It was well deserved as he has been at the pub for 31 years and has taken his pub into the GBG for the last 16 consecutive years.

    The presentation, pictured right, took place on Tuesday, 10th of October, 2017 in front of a large party of local CAMRA members and pub regulars.

  • More Honours for Cider Bar - Regional Cider Pub of the Year Tuesday 2 May 2017

    The Cider Bar, in East Street, Newton Abbot, has been named the Cider Pub of the Year by South Devon CAMRA, the local branch of The Campaign for Real Ale, which also promotes traditional ciders and berries.

    The bar sells about 30 different ciders, including about 12 ‘real’ ones, along with a couple of perries (fermented pear juice). Customers’ ceramic and pottery drinking pots are hung from above the bar, with the more favoured ones from the ceiling behind the bar.

    The ‘Cork Club’ has met every Sunday for hundreds of years, with photographs (formerly paintings) of their outings adorning the walls. The bar is the last remaining regularly open Cider House in the country (there is no licence for beer or spirits).

    Food is on offer is the traditional ham and cheese & onion rolls that have been served here for years.

    Presenting the award to owner Jonathan McCool, CAMRA chairman Bob Southwell praised the Cider Bar for being a ‘unique institution’ whose fame spreads well beyond South Devon.

    A further presentation was made to Richard Knibbs, the previous owner of the Ye Olde Cider Bar who, having taken over around 46 years ago made the Cider Bar into the institution that it has become today. He received a special CAMRA award for his lifelong devotion and commitment to cider.

  • South Devon Pub Awards for 2017 Thursday 30 March 2017

    Pub of the Year 2017 – Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe in the Moor

    Runner Up - Tally Ho Littlehempston

    Town Pub of the Year – Blue Anchor Teignmouth

    Runner Up – Teign Cellars Newton Abbot

    Country Pub of the Year - Rugglestone Inn Widecombe in the Moor

    Runner Up – Tally Ho Littlehempston

    Cider Pub of the Year – The Cider Bar Newton Abbot

    Club of the Year – Shaldon Conservative Club – NEW AWARD

    This is the first year that the South Devon Pub of the Year competition has been judged on two categories with runners up for each category.

    1) Town

    2) Country

    There was then a further vote to determine the overall winner and The Rugglestone Inn emerged as our Pub of the Year with the Tally Ho in second place.

    Our Pub of the Year the Grade 2 listed The Rugglestone Inn, a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the picturesque village of Widecombe in the Moor, has taken the coveted award for 2017 repeating its achievement of 2012.

    The pub was judged primarily on the consistent quality of its ales, with factors such as Service, Welcome & Offering, Style/Décor/Furnishing & Cleanliness, Community Focus & Atmosphere, Alignment with CAMRA Principles and Overall Impression.

    The picture shows Richard and Vicky Palmer receiving their award from our Chairman Bob Southwell on the 20th April.

    Our Runner Up – Overall and in the Country Pub Category is The Tally Ho being the first community pub in South Devon having been ‘rescued’ by the community in 2014 when it was in danger of being sold for residential development. Since then the pub has built on its reputation for serving fine ales and was listed in the Good Beer in 2016. The landlord was delighted to receive the award from Branch Vice-Chairman and National Executive Member Ian Packham on 25th April

    The Town Pub of the Year was the Blue Anchor in Teignmouth and when making the presentation to the Landlords on the 13th April Bob Southwell remarked that they have earned their reward by supplying the community with good beer, great beer festivals and good service. Luke and Adele have managed the pub for a couple of years now and are obviously enjoying their role.

    The Town Pub of the Year Runner Up was Teign Cellars. Situated in East Street in Newton Abbot, Teign Cellars has been turned round from a pub that has failed several times to a thriving craft bar and gastro pub. The landlord Stuart O’Dell, an accomplished chef who has won CAMRA awards at all three of his previous pubs received his award from Bob Southwell on the 8th May.

    The Inaugural Winner of Club of the Year is Shaldon Conservative Club and at the presentation on the 30th March Bob Southwell said that the club has a well-deserved reputation for delivering consistently good and varied beers. At the same time, a presentation was made to the retiring steward, Kevin Wilson to commemorate his retirement.

  • Queens Arms, Brixham - Pub of the Year 2016 Tuesday 1 March 2016

    There are around 330 pubs in the South Devon CAMRA branch area and each winter a short list is drawn up of suitable candidates for pub of the year. It's a very difficult task as there are so many excellent pubs in our area. For this year's competition we managed to whittle down to a short list of just five pubs in January. Over a period of two months these were each visited anonymously by many of the active branch members. At our March branch meeting votes were cast and the five pubs reduced to two. Each member rated each pub on a number of criteria: the quality of the beer (obviously the most important!), the atmosphere, quality of service, clientele, sympathy with CAMRA aims and whether the pub offers good value for the area.

    For 2016 we are pleased to announce that the Queens Arms in Brixham is our branch pub of the year! Congratulations to all at the pub! The award was presented to landlord Chris Simmonds and the photo below shows branch chairman Bob Southwell (pictured left) with them during the presentation.

    Pub of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Bridford Inn in Bridford

    Pub of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Queens Arms

    The Queens Arms in Station Hill in Brixham has been named Pub of the Year by the South Devon branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. The landlord, Chris Simmonds took over the pub in 2011 turning it from a run-down street corner boozer into a thriving community hub. The award, voted for by CAMRA branch members is primarily for ale quality but also takes into account factors such as atmosphere and welcome.

    Presenting the award in Spring 2016, branch Chairman Bob Southwell congratulated Chris on getting things right, from his skills as a cellarman, his revitalisation of the pub and the welcoming ambience that he engenders. This is the second time the pub has won, having previously taken top honours in 2014.

    Chris attributed his success to his whole team of staff - present and past, and all his suppliers, brewers, draymen, but above all his customers who make the pub the friendly place it is.

    The pub was packed to see Chris receive his award and there were a fine selection of ales, namely Teignworth’s Black Dog Mild; Black Tor’s Raven; Oakham Ales’ The Nav;, Branscombe Vale’s Summa This; Summerskill’s Devon Frost; Castor Ales’ Hopping Toad and Fuller’s London Pride straight from the barrel. Supper was supplied with assistance from Jodie on the BBQ, and the whole evening went with a swing. Peter O’Nions

    We wish the family team all the best for the next stage of the judging, where they will be considered for Regional Pub of the Year against the other South West branch winners.

    A little more about the Queens Arms- An end terrace back-street local, single bar pub which is off the beaten track from the tourist centre of town, but is well worth finding. It always has one real ale at a discounted price (currently £2.60). They serve a good Sunday lunch and a Monday meal deal (eg chilli or bangers and mash and pint £5) Good friendly community boozer with live music at the weekend.

    It's open 4-11 Mon-Thu; 2-Midnight Fri; 12-Midnight Sat; 12-11 Sun Telephone: (01803) 852074. ku.oc.mahxirbsmrasneeuqeht@ofni:liamE More information is available on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages

    If you'd like to become more involved in CAMRA and help us select next year's Branch Pub of the Year, if you're not already a member why not join CAMRA, and then come along to one of our monthly branch meetings.