GLASSES were raised to West Lancs pubs celebrating success in this year’s CAMRA branch awards at the Sandgrounder Beer Festival.
The Southport & West Lancs Branch of CAMRA held its annual beer festival last week in St John’s Ambulance hall on Wright Street, Southport.
More than 60 beers, ciders and perries were on sale with many from across the North West.
The event ran from Thursday to Saturday and the awards were held on Thursday evening, with Doug Macadam, branch chair, presenting winners with their awards on the night.
Licensee of excellence awards went to Janice Brogden and Mike Litherland of the Derby Arms, Aughton, Mike McCombe of Burscough’s Hop Vine and Gail Heyes of The Guest House, Southport.
Anna Gervasoni, of the Ring O’ Bells, Lathom, picked up the award for best newcomer, while the best bar staff award – nominated by members – went to Ceri Evans, of The Railway, on Derby Street, Ormskirk.
The best country pub for 2012 was presented to Steve Winrow of The Heaton’s Bridge Inn, Scarisbrick, and best community pub went to David Storer, of King’s Arms, Haskayne. Leslie Baker, of Ormskirk’s The Yew Tree, and Simon Cox from the Freshfield Hotel, Formby, collected pub merit awards.
At the festival, manned by unpaid volunteers, there were performances by the Southport and Argarmeols Dancers and trumpeter Ricky Hunter on the Saturday afternoon, while pub grub to accompany the ales on offer was supplied by West Lancashire Bakehouse.
The winning Champion Beer of the Festival was Lytham Berry Blonde and a branch visit will be made to the brewery next year to make a presentation.
Mike Perkins, of Southport and West Lancs CAMRA, said: “Our thanks to the hosts St Johns, our volunteers, and all our sponsors for supporting the festival, also to all the CAMRA staff who helped to carry out all the organisation.”
CAMRA contributes an amount each year to the Sefton Mayor’s charity fund in respect of sold but unused returned beer vouchers.