Everyone has a favourite pub (The Coronet on Holloway Road, obviously), but it’s annoying how it never seems like you can get it officially recognised. You know it deserves an award, but how do you make sure it gets one? Well, you don’t, basically – you just have to hope that CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) get themselves down and give it a good write-up.
Which is exactly what happened to the George & Dragon in Hudswell, Yorkshire – it’s been officially named the national pub of the year, hitting the top spot ahead of over 50,000 other drinking dens.
“But’s what’s so good about it? I presume it’s a Wetherspoons?” are questions you may ask. Well, to start off with, just look at the goddamn scenic majesty of this beer garden:
Seriously, if that’s not the best place in the whole of the UK to knock back a drink, then we don’t know where is. Apart from maybe a disused cinema on Holloway Road. But it’s not just the beer garden – the pub has a lovely little backstory behind it.
It was originally a small country inn, but it came extremely close to going bankrupt, so the community banded together to keep it open – if it closed the village would have been without a pub. It unfortunately closed in 2008, but £220,000 was raised by residents and it was reopened in 2010 as The George and Dragon. It’s also way more than just a pub now – it’s the village library (books are not as interesting as beer though), a small local shop (probably selling things not as interesting as beer) and houses community allotments (defo not as interesting as beer). It also has free Wifi (possibly more interesting than beer, probably not though).
But all of that doesn’t make it a pub, really – it’s the beer, the food, the decor, the patrons, the landlord and if it’s got a cat, the cat. It doesn’t have a cat, but it’s got all the other ones, and they’re all very good, according to CAMRA. A strong selection of real ales and cider, a “welcoming atmosphere” and “strong community ethos”, as well as that explosively sexual beer garden all join together to form its crown.
So next time you’re up Yorkshire way, go in and have a pint. It’s on us.*
*It’s not on us.