In common with most CAMRA branches, the Bradford one selects a Pub of the Year. It does this separately from the four Pubs of the Season in a two-stage system. Stage one is open to every member of CAMRA in the Bradford branch area. Plenty of notice, and opportunity, is given for voting and the votes are collected and counted, leaving us with three candidates for POTY.
Then we swing into action with the strict national guidelines for such matters. A team of assessors, made up from branch members we can trust (that’s the hard bit) who visit each pub, and they do this independently and more than once – in order to iron out any bits of silliness.
The scores in the various categories are weighted, added up, and then a winner emerges. This year it was a very close thing, but Jacobs Beer House pipped the competition.
The presentation evening went very well, with a good turnout enjoying the fine beer, snacks, and the presentation itself. Christina and her staff were chuffed, it seems. But why waste a good evening with only one presentation?
Go on, let’s have another one.
This time it is for Bradford branch’s Cider and Perry Pub of the Year. The system is slightly different for this award, as we do not yet have a mountain of pubs selling proper cider and perry, but the members get a vote each, if they want to use it.
Having said that, the number of pubs selling the real stuff made from apples and pairs is growing: at the last count is was 21. So there is quite some competition, after all.
That the same pub wins both Pub of the Year and, concurrently, Cider Pub of the Year is a notable achievement. Bearing in mind that the Jacobs has only been reborn for a couple of years, and that’s some going.
Clearly there is much hard work involved in getting to this position from a standing start in about 24 months.
Obviously there is now a moving target of excellence as more and more pubs keep improving what they do and how they do it. Certainly maintaining this position of pre-eminence will be exceedingly difficult.
Will the Jacobs hold onto its POTY crown next year? Will it come out on top again on the real cider and perry front? Who knows, but this unique.