Katie Elliot, licensee at the Dragon Inn, in Worcester, took over in September 2015 when Church End Brewery, winners of Champion Beer of Britain 2017, bought the pub.
The licensee said receiving the award was the "icing on the cake” and is “extremely thrilled” to have been recognised by CAMRA.
“I came here from a country pub with lots of space around it, so very different to the Dragon,” she said.
“I wanted to make several changes to the pub such as relocating the toilets inside, but I didn’t want to lose the pub’s character, which happens a lot when big chains take over and refurb pubs.
“Initially, I didn’t have any plans for the beer garden, but I was surprised at how much use our customers made of it, so decided to make it more welcoming and increase the amount of seating.
“It’s amazing to be recognised for all the hard work we’ve done.”
Bill Ottaway, Worcester CAMRA branch press officer, said that in this day of age “it’s really pleasing” to see a vibrant and bustling pub such as the Dragon.
“This is the first time a Worcester pub has received this award,” he added.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and recognises the hard work Katie, and her team, have invested in keeping this traditional city pub alive, by expanding the pub, attracting new clientele and offering several quality ales.”
The CAMRA Pub of the Year awards recognise all the criteria that make a great pub, including atmosphere, décor, customer service, value for money, clientele mix and the quality of ale.