The event took place on Tuesday 19 September at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse and saw businesses from across the country celebrate for their work in the community, sustainability efforts, food offering and much more.
Maria Harris, licensee of the Stag in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, which was crowned the Greene King Pub of the Year, said she was “gobsmacked” to have won and that it felt amazing.
“All the Greene King pubs are so supportive; we couldn’t do this without Greene King. This [win] is for the team and all the locals”, she continued.
On why she thought the pub had been named the Greene King pub of the year, Harris, who has been at the helm of the pub for the last two and a half years, said “listening” to what the locals want and “thinking outside the box” were key.
She added: “We are a small village, but we do things like burlesque, it gives people an opportunity to do things they may not feel comfortable going to in a big city.”
In addition, Harris said awards like GBPA bring people together to celebrate the sector.
“[They are] important because they endorse what we do and how we are doing it. Every day is a learning day, we are all fighting at the moment [to survive], and this is great marketing.”
Later on in the evening, Stroud Brewery, in Gloucestershire, was named the 2023 Best Sustainable Pub, which general manager Ben Hudson described as an “amazing feeling”.
“[Awards like this] brings awareness to what the industry does for the community in every area of the country, it’s huge, it helps every person in every walk of life”, Hudson added.
When asked why he felt Stroud Brewery had won in the category, owner Greg Piley said the businesses was a “dedicated, organic brewery” that “invests a lot” and is “conscious” about its impact on the planet.
He continued: “[Sustainability] is not just about pubs, it is across everything. We can’t afford not to be sustainable.”
Beacon of hope
“All the businesses here [tonight] are central to sustainability and embedding it in our community.
“Pubs and hospitality play a huge role in getting people together and that’s fundamentally the most important thing in our lives.
“Especially when people are trying to spend and consume less and have less of an impact, the thing that remains is our relationships with other people and pubs make that happen.
“We have been striving for this for years and years, it’s just lovely to be recognised for what we do.”
Cheshire Cat Pubs site the Cholmondeley Arms in Malpas, Cheshire was presented with the overall title at the awards and was also named Best Country/Rural winner.
Owner Tim Bird said: “I said when we opened, we can be a beacon of hope for rural pubs but now we can be an ambassador as the pub of the year for Great Britain. For the team, this is just amazing.”
Full list of 2023 GBPA winners:
Great British Pub of the Year 2023 – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire
Best City/Urban Pub – the Turks Head, Twickenham, Greater London
Best Country/Rural Pub – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire
Best Pub for Food – the Loch & The Tyne, Old Windsor, Berkshire
Best Pub for Dogs – the Bellflower, Garstang, Lancashire
Best Pub for Families – the Plough, Normanton on the Wolds, Nottinghamshire
Best Pub for Entertainment – the Kings Arms, Bexleyheath, south east London
Best Pub Garden – Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton, Dorset
Best Pub to Watch Sport – the Royal Dyche, Burnley, Lancashire
Best Sustainable Pub – Stroud Brewery Taproom, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Best Pub Chef – Charlotte Vincent, Candlelight Inn, Chard, Somerset
Best Young Pub Chef – Karl Quirante, the Cricketers, Ormskirk, Lancashire
Community Hero – the Old Abbey Taphouse, Manchester
Admiral Pub of the Year – Boot & Shoe, Ackworth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Stonegate Pub of the Year – the Woodman, Pinner & Ruislip, Greater London
Greene King Pub of the Year – the Stag, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
Marston’s Pub of the Year – Rose & Crown, Worcester, Worcestershire
Punch Pub of the Year – the Plough, Prestbury, Gloucestershire