2023 Publican Awards winners unveiled

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Champion unveiled: this year's Publican Award winners have been revealed
Champion unveiled: this year's Publican Award winners have been revealed

Related tags Events Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office

A number of pub companies were celebrating doing the double at the Publican Awards in London.

BrewDog took home two in the pub trade’s equivalent of the Oscars, while Greene King were celebrating a double, along with Barons Pub Company and Nightcap boss Sarah Willingham saw her company take the late-night award while she was named Business Leader of the Year.

The awards, which are the biggest event in the hospitality industry calendar, saw hundreds of businesses compete to be named the best across a range of categories, from best employer to best drinks offer.

More than 1,400 people attended the stand-out awards at London Evolution for a night which celebrates excellence across the UK pub and bar scene.

Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser​, which organises the awards, said: “These awards are the pinnacle for companies to win – the judging process really puts the businesses through their paces and I’m delighted we’ve been able to celebrate with our winners.

“All our finalists are outstanding operators, across a range of fields, so to be able to come out on top is a real achievement and one our winning businesses should rightly be proud of.

“The pub and bar sector is really under the cosh at the moment, so it’s superb to see that these businesses, despite the challenges, continue to maintain the high standards that have put them at the top of their game.”

Following her double win, Nightcap's Willingham said: "I am so flabbergasted I didn’t expect to win leader of the year.

"I am so happy for the team; they have put so much work in over the past two years so to win best late night is actually the real lift that everyone needed.

"We work really hard, we play hard, but we work really hard and that’s down to them.

"We do things a bit differently, we don’t drive an oil tanker we drive a jet ski, when things happen, we can go left or we can really quickly go right."

On winning Business Leader of the Year, she said: "I was so surprised, I just didn’t expect it, I thought ‘you’ve not been here long enough’, I was just so happy. I am really made up."

BrewDog was awarded Best New Site for its Waterloo venue and Best Pub Brand/Concept.

CEO of BrewDog Bars James Brown said: "We are super proud of the team that have gone through the process for these awards and delivered an awesome experience for our customers.

"We are most proud of the best new site award, we put so much time and effort and love into that site in Waterloo. We had an awesome marketing campaign.

"We decided to open and then the opening day was on a train strike day, in a train station, it was tough.

"We have an awesome team in that venue, we put a lot into that site, a lot of love and effort and attention."

Greene King was named Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company (501+ sites) and Best Employer (501+ employees).

Managing director of partnerships and ventures Wayne Shurvinton added: "It felt amazing [to win], more for the team, because we have worked really hard this year it has been a tough couple of years for the whole sector, it has not been easy for us but we have just tried to do the right thing by our franchisees.

"When our name was called out, it felt like a moment of reflection where you thought everything, we have done this year has been worth it and it has been recognised which is great so I am really proud of Greene King.

"More importantly I am really proud of our licensees, they are brilliant to work with, this award is for them and for us.

"It signifies everything that we do, I have always said to people we don’t come to work to win this award, we don’t wake up every morning and think everything we are doing is for this but when you do win it makes it all worthwhile.

"Everything we do is trying to be the best version of ourselves we can be and trying to be the best partners for our licensees.

"Our licensees are the best in the sector, they are brilliant operators, they care, they are passionate, they run brilliant pubs and this award is for them."

The awards are kindly sponsored by Britvic, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Heineken, Kopparberg, Matthew Clark, Molson Coors, Moët Hennessy, Poppleston Allen and Sky.

The Publican Awards have been running for more than three decades now and this year's awards saw a range of businesses take titles home.

The winners included:

Best Drinks Offer

The Alchemist

Best Pub Operations Team

Barons Pub Company

Best Managed Pub Company

Urban Pubs & Bars

Best Pub Employer (501+ employees)

Greene King

Best Pub Employer (up to 500 employees)

Barons Pub Company

Best New Site

Brewdog Waterloo

Best Pub Brand/Concept


Best Community Pub Operator

Urban Village Pubs

Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company (up to 500 sites)

Fullers, Smith and Turner

Best Brewing Pub Company

Brewhouse & Kitchen

Best Sustainable Pub Company

Mitchells & Butlers

Best Food Offer


Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company (501+ sites)

Greene King

Best Late Night Operator


Best Premium Food Offer

Anglian Country Inns

Best Accommodation Operator

Grosvenor Pubs Trading

Business Leader of the Year

Sarah Willingham

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