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In 1997, North Bar opened what is widely considered to be the UK's first craft beer pub in Leeds city centre. The company now celebrates 20 years of operating by being shortlisted for Best Brewing Pub Company. The Leeds-based operator won Best Drinks Offer at the 2014 Publican Awards and since then has opened its own brewery to the public on the outskirts of Leeds city centre.
Dark Star Brewing Company
2016 has seen Dark Star double the number of its pubs to four, with two new sites opening in the south-east. This is part of the company's wider expansion plans, with ambitions to be running 20 sites by 2020. The brewing company prides itself in sourcing small high street, wet-led venues that put the beer at the heart of what they do, and will hope this approach proves to be an award-winning approach come March.
Laine Pub Company
South east-based Laine Pub Company completes the list of finalists for Best Brewing Pub Company. The operator, whose 47-strong estate is predominantly based in Brighton and London, prides itself on having distinctive bars with on-site breweries at each.