Landlords receive top award for their beer

Southsea Coast Emporium was packed for the tea duelling event Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Tea duelling’ marks two years of trading

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PUB managers have received an award in recognition of their top quality ale.

Simon Evans and Sheila Hammond, of The Old Ship, in Lower Swanwick, near Fareham, have been given the status of Master Cellarman by owner Fuller’s.

The award recognises how well a pub keeps its beer and the condition of its cellar.

To win the award, a Fuller’s pub has to achieve an average score of 96 per cent across four visits by a beer quality team.

Mr Evans said: ‘It’s an amazing honour to be given this status.

‘We work really hard at The Old Ship to make sure each pint is of the best quality possible and it’s great to be recognised in this way.

‘But it’s a real team effort, so I’d like to thank everyone at the pub, because it’s not just the quality of the cellar, it’s also about the quality at the bar and service that you receive.

John Keeling, head brewer at Fuller’s, said: ‘It’s such a pleasure to give this award to a person who lives and breathes cask ale.

‘When you visit the pub you can be safe in the knowledge that the beer they serve is in the best possible condition, just as it is when it leaves the brewery gates.’

Meanwhile, research shows the pub industry is the most financially improved business sector in the south-east.

Insolvency trade body R3 says there has been a 3.82 per cent reduction in the proportion of pubs with a higher than normal risk of insolvency from July to November.

R3 southern committee chairman Andrew Watling said it is ‘by no means’ time to rest on its laurels and it will be reviewing post-Christmas figures with interest.