Pub saved from closure named Britain's best by CAMRA

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Community cheer: the Cricketers Arms has won national recognition after its regional success
Community cheer: the Cricketers Arms has won national recognition after its regional success
The Cricketers Arms in St Helens, Merseyside, has won the Campaign to Save Real Ale Pub of the Year award just five years after it was boarded up for closure.

The pub’s current owners Andy and Denise Evans took over the Cricketers Arms in 2013 when the site was boarded up and hadn’t served a cask ale since the 1980s.

The site is now a well-established community pub with a selection of 13 locally sources cask ales and up to 20 ciders in the summer.

A regular winner of local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) awards, including being named Regional Pub of the Year in 2016, the latest gong is the pub’s first national title.  

CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year co-ordinator Paul Ainsworth commented: “After winning the regional award in both 2015 and 2016, it's a well-deserved third time lucky for the Cricketers to be named CAMRA’s national Pub of the Year.

“In less than five years, Andy and Denise have converted a boarded-up pub on the brink of closure into a true destination pub for beer lovers across the country.

“What impressed me the most is that the Cricketers is a genuine community pub where people from all walks of life come together to socialise. It is a shining example of how a pub, which seems destined for closure, can have its fortunes turned around when in the right hands.”

Plans to open a microbrewery this year are ongoing, with customers invited to name the pub’s beers.

Look forward to celebrating

Owner Andy Evans added: “We are over the moon to be named the top pub in the country after just a few short years of renovations. We’ve done everything we can to make this a welcoming community pub and still have exciting developments ahead of us.

“As well as expanding the beers available, we created a beer garden and put greens in the ground, and have big plans to install a microbrewery this year. We are very proud to be part of the cask ale scene and look forward to celebrating with our locals!”

Pubs are nominated by CAMRA volunteers and judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, community focus and quality of beer. Runners-up include the Wigan Central in Wigan, Greater Manchester; the Stanford Arms in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and the Weavers Real Ale House in Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

The Cricketers Arms will be presented with an award for its achievement at an event on 28 February.

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