The industry gathered together virtually to celebrate excellence throughout the sector, and to mark a year that has been devastating for a trade that was hit first and hardest by the coronavirus outbreak.
In a recent virtual ceremony, hosted by top comedian Ed Gamble, companies from across the sector were recognised for being outstanding in their field in the face of the pandemic.
Greene King had a great night, taking the titles of Community Pub Operator of the Year, Tenanted and Leased Pub Company of the Year and CEO Nick Mackenzie scooped the title of Business Leader of the Year for being instrumental in impressively steering his business through choppy waters.
On his win, Mackenzie said: "I never expect these things, of course I’m pleased but a massive shoutout to my team. They absolutely were great. Every single one of our employees were great and hopefully they will see the benefit of this award too.
"It has been a crazy two years [since joining Greene King as CEO] but I have absolutely loved it. Really enjoyed being back in the industry. I've learnt masses as a leader over the past 12 months and the industry as a whole has done an incredible job too [amid the pandemic]."
The Stay Original Company was also celebrating a double win, taking the title of Best Accommodation Operator and also Best Premium Food Offer.
Other winners included North Bar/North Brewing Co taking the title again for Best Brewing Pub Company, while BrewDog were celebrating after being declared the Best Sustainable Pub Company.
BrewDog COO David McDowall said: "We are really proud of how the team has navigated the trauma of the past 12 months alongside remaining sustainable."
North Bar/North Brewing Co retained the title of Best Brewing Company and marketing manager Sarah Hardy said every year, the award meant even more to the business.
Another top winner was Emma Page, of the Yummy Pub Company, who was recognised for her dedication and unstinting support for supplying meals for the homeless throughout the crisis.
Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: “This year’s event has certainly been different, going from a gathering of 1,500 in Battersea to an online ceremony in the virtual world, but the ethos remains the same – celebrating excellence and there’s plenty to celebrate.
“Many companies, having faced the challenges and disasters of 2020 could be forgiven for pulling down the shutters and sitting the crisis out. Our finalists tonight, and many others in the sector, did the exact opposite of that, rose to the challenge and did some amazing things.
“We wanted to continue with the awards this year to recognise those businesses that made sacrifices and strove to not just keep going, but to improve and thrive in the teeth of a brutal storm.
“Here’s to next year when companies can get back to doing what they do best, providing outstanding hospitality experiences for their guests.”
The awards were kindly made possible by Asahi, Britvic Soft Drinks, Budweiser Brewing Group, Coca-Cola European Partners, CGA, CPL Learning, Heineken UK, HGEM, Lumina Intelligence, Molson Coors, Poppleston Allen, and Sky.
Asahi also kindly donated £10 for every attendee of the awards towards industry charity Only A Pavement Away, raising a great total of £6,250.
Full list of winners:
- Best Accommodation Operator - Stay Original Company
- Best Brewing Pub Company - North Brewing Company/North Bar
- Best Sustainable Pub Company - Brewdog
- Best Community Pub Operator - Greene King
- Best Food Offer - Hippo Inns
- Best Premium Food Offer - Stay Original Company
- Best Drinks Offer - Darwin & Wallace
- Best New Site - The Meynell Ingram Arms, from Berkeley Inns
- Best Pub Employer - Brewhouse & Kitchen
- Best Managed Pub Company - Liberation Group/Butcombe Brewing Company
- Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company - Greene King
- Business Leader of the Year - Nick Mackenzie, Greene King
- Outstanding Industry Contribution - Emma Page, Yummy Pub Company