The Hilton on Park Lane, London, was the setting for this year's awards spectacular, with guests arriving to find a glamorous Champagne reception before taking their seats in the dining hall.
The Morning Advertiser (MA) editor Ed Bedington rung in this year's awards, telling the crowd: "Pubs are an integral part of British society, enjoying a special place in the hearts of consumers," before handing over to John Longden, chief executive of Pub is the Hub.
Longden then led a storming game of Rock 'n' Roll bingo in aid of the charity, which works to support rural establishments and their local communities. The crowd raised a whopping £4,250.
Following a luxurious dinner, Canadian comic Katherine Ryan took to the stage to a raucous reception and - after a hilariously risqué stand-up routine - revealed the winners of the evening's accolades.
Julie Beaume, whose Lancashire pub the Cartford Inn was named Best Inn, said: “I just need to thank our staff, they’re just fantastic and without them we wouldn’t have won anything – and my husband, who just works non-stop. We just love what we do.”
After the 16 category winners were revealed, it was time for Ryan to reveal the Great British Pub of the Year 2016: the Bull, Ditchling, East Sussex.
Dominic Worrall, owner of the Bull, told MA: “I feel just overwhelmed – I made a promise when I bought the pub 13 years ago, that I would deliver to the staff the best pub in Sussex.
“I didn’t think we’d be the best pub in the UK, it’s just extraordinary. We put our heart and soul into what we do. I’ve got a great team."
He added: “I guess it’s down to the level of service, attention to detail and the genuine care for what we do. I’d love to defend the title next year.”
Matt Steer, who runs Best Student Pub winner the Doctor’s Orders, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said he would strongly encourage pubs to put themselves forward for the awards next year.
He said: “I’m ecstatic. To be honest, ‘student pub’ to a lot of people means as many shots as you can get for a fiver, but with our proximity to the university, we’re the heart of the student community, we sponsor a lot of the societies, we really are their local.”
Once all the evening's awards were handed out, guests were treated to a lavish after-party featuring bars from Schweppes, Diageo, Kegstar, Old Mout, Beer Moretti and Cask Matters, and live music.
Simon Delaney, of the Firbank Pub & Kitchen, which won Best Community Pub, added: “Everything we do is for the community – 21 years I’ve been doing this and I’m over the moon to get this recognition, I’m going to celebrate for the next 12 months and we’ll be back here next year.
“Pubs are everything. Get involved.”