Judges said the Lion stood out thanks to manager Adrian Emmett’s contributions to the pub’s neighbourhood through working with a local school and charities.
The pub also earned an award for best community hub, owing to its regular offer of live entertainment – showcasing comedy, music, and sport events.
Other big winners on the night were Michael and Janet Ostler, from the Red Cow Inn in Brent Knoll, Somerset, and Andrew Scott from the Crown & Trumpet in Broadway, Worcestershire, who won lifetime achievement awards.
The Leigham Well in Streatham, south London, also scooped an award for best newcomer.
Ei Group chief executive Simon Townsend said the competition, judged by group executives alongside a panel of industry experts, was fierce.
He said: “Judging our new awards scheme was not an easy task. We saw an impressive number of entries and our group of expert judges was struck by the extraordinary levels of dedication and passion to the industry demonstrated by every single publican that entered."
Townsend added: “Our new awards programme has offered us the opportunity to celebrate the most outstanding operators across our estate, learn from the best and inspire other publicans to further raise retail standards and business performance.
"We are incredibly proud of all of our finalists and, in particular, Adrian at the Lion who runs an outstanding pub and is truly a worthy winner.”