Love Your Local: The Golden Eagle

From left, Helen Wilson, landlady of The Mad Bishop and Bear in London and winner of last year's' Master Cellarman of The Year award,Golden Eagle landlady and landlord Louise and Cliff Charter,Fullers brewing director John Keeling and Emma Watts, Fullers technical services manager

From left, Helen Wilson, landlady of The Mad Bishop and Bear in London and winner of last year's' Master Cellarman of The Year award,Golden Eagle landlady and landlord Louise and Cliff Charter,Fullers brewing director John Keeling and Emma Watts, Fullers technical services manager

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It’s a pub proud to serve great beer in a clean, welcoming environment.

Now The Golden Eagle in Delamere Road, Southsea, is aiming to be recognised as one of the best locals around.

The Fuller’s business is one of only seven in the country battling to win the Master Cellarman of the Year award.

The award recognises pubs that have a cellar and beer kept up to an exceptional standard.

It also celebrates how well glasses are kept and the way events pulling in customers are promoted.

On Monday judges visited The Golden Eagle to check how well everything is done ahead of the finals of the competition next month.

The Southsea pub will find out on August 13 whether it is the winner.

This week is extra special as it marks Louise and Cliff Charter’s fourth year in charge.

The couple, who enjoy life at the pub with popular pet dog Morris, say it has gone from strength to strength since they took over and they are proud of their achievements.

Cliff, 58, said: ‘It’s good because we do put an awful lot of work in to make sure our beer is top quality.

‘All the work has really paid off.

‘We know we are good at what we do and it is just nice to have it confirmed by Fuller’s, which has put us in the top seven. It’s great. We are really pleased to be in the final.’

The pub is also featured in the Campaign For Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide in recognition of the quality of its ales.

It’s known for its match-day barbecues when Pompey play at home.

Cliff is also grateful for the support of his locals, who he takes on tours of the pub’s cellar from time to time.

He said: ‘The locals are really pleased for us.

‘A lot of the customers have said “well done, well deserved”.

He added: ‘They know it’s nice and clean and it’s a safe pub.’

Louise, 50, added: ‘This is an appreciation of all our hard work at The Golden Eagle.

‘We put a lot of love and care into it.

‘It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle for us.’

Five real ales are served and once or twice a year a beer festival is held for those customers seeking even more variety.

One is due to be held later in the year.

Live music events are held every Friday and Saturday.

And a ‘drink and draw’ evening with a fine arts expert from the University of Portsmouth is held on Tuesdays from 7.30pm for those who fancy a pint and also want tips on getting creative.

Meet the landlord

Landlords Cliff and Louise Charter adore life at The Golden Eagle.

And the good news is that the couple have signed up to continue running the pub for another three years.

But after that, Cliff says he hopes to wind down.

Cliff, who has also performed in local bands for 40 years, said: ‘The general idea is to run it for another three years and I will be 60 then.

‘We will then probably bring in a manager so we can relax a bit and go on holiday.

‘As a landlord it’s difficult to get away and go on holiday.

‘You don’t get a lot of free time.

‘But it’s a nice lifestyle. It’s hard work, but not difficult work.’

Cliff added: ‘It’s just such a friendly pub. There’s always nice chat going on.

‘We change the real ales now and again so it’s nice to talk about the different guest ales coming in.

‘I love talking to the people.’

Cliff says there’s only one rule when bands come to play at his venue - performances of Kings Of Leon’s hit song Sex On Fire are banned as it’s overplayed.

He said: ‘We pre-warn people that if they come and play that song, we’ll shoot them with a spud gun.’

But Cliff said it’s all a bit of fun.

Morris the pub dog has his own Facebook page and the landlords write reviews of the bands on his behalf.

The page can be found at: facebook.com/MorrisattheGoldenEagle

The pub also has a Facebook page set up with a collection of pictures that give people a ‘virtual tour’ around its beer cellar.

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