Instant Improver

Ready for the Pub Of The Year?

The sun is out, the beer is cold and your votes have been counted. ShortList reveals the victor in our annual pub-off

One thing is clear: the draw of a good pub is not diminishing. After we asked you to vote for your favourite, vote you did, in your thousands. And there can only be one winner. That pub, revealed last week at a party in Meantime’s Old Brewery (alongside the winner of our brew your own beer with Meantime competition – Charlie Roberts), is detailed here with the full top 10. Enjoy. It’s thirsty work.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year?

    10. The Ship, London

    Essential info: 41 Jews Row, SW18; theship.co.uk

    What’s on offer: Following an extensive refurbishment earlier this year, the already majestic Ship became a showstopper. The pulled pork bap is the best £12 you’ll spend this summer. Ales are largely from Young’s, but it rotates local brews, including those from Sambrook’s located just up the road.

    The clincher: Hosts the Scotch Egg challenge, which sees pubs from across the south put forward their best breaded behemoths.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 1

    9. Munro’s, Glasgow

    Essential info: 185 Great Western Rd, G4; munrosglasgow.co.uk

    What’s on offer: Craft beer. In particular Scottish craft beer, at Scotland’s highest ranked pub. Think Willams Bros, Arran, Orkney, West and Harviestoun. But also select brews from some of England’s finest such as Redchurch, Redwell and Roosters.

    The clincher: The taster bat – a trio of one-third measures in a curved paddle – for indecisive drinkers.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 2

    8. The New Pilot, Cardiff

    Essential info: 67 Queens Rd, Penarth, CF64; knifeandforkfood.co.uk

    What’s on offer: Boasting some of the best food in Cardiff from a daily changing menu, this recently refurbed gastropub impressed with its cooking and stunning views over Cardiff Bay.

    The clincher: A revamped new look and rotating local brews from the likes of Otley and Brains.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 3

    7. The Sparrow, Bradford

    Essential info: 32 North Parade, BD1; thesparrowbradford.co.uk

    What’s on offer: A phenomenal night of beer. This hoppy café has built up a reputation for stocking some of the world’s best ale. The list changes every day, and includes Red Willow, Thornbridge and Magic Rock.

    The clincher: Its Street Food Fridays, with a full range of Brooklyn cans alongside barbecue food.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 4

    6. The Union Tavern, London

    Essential info: 45 Woodfield Rd, W9; union-tavern.co.uk

    What’s on offer: ‘Ale Mondays’, ‘Ribs, Wings & Sings’ on Thursdays, monthly ‘We Need To Talk About Beer’ events and a bar full of quality craft brews: this new pub clearly knows what it’s doing.

    The clincher: A mixed platter featuring beef brisket, ribs, crispy wings and (of course) pulled pork.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 5

    5. The Grafton, London

    Essential info: 20 Prince Of Wales Rd, NW5; thegraftonnw5.co.uk

    What’s on offer: London brewers are well stocked here, with beers from the likes of ELB and Rebellion on rotation. Look out for street food star The Fat Butcher taking over the kitchen on 16 August.

    The clincher: An upstairs cocktail bar. Try the potent, and cucumber-laced, Grafton Special martini.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 6

    4. Friends Of Ham, Leeds

    Essential info: 4 New Station St, LS1; friendsofham.com

    What’s on offer: Charcuterie, craft beer and a game of shuffleboard. The meat matches the beer in its premium, well-sourced quality: choose a cheese and meat board from Spain or Yorkshire.

    The clincher: A six-beer sampler tray for pump-dawdlers and sherry tasters for tapas purists.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 7

    3. Ales & Tails, London

    Essential info: 31 York St, TW1; alesandtails.co.uk

    What’s on offer: Billed as a cocktail bar that prefers hops, this place has eight hand-pulls and 16 taps, dispensing exceptional suds such as Outlaw’s Mad Hatter IPA.

    The clincher: A roast dinner you can carve at the table yourself.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 8

    2. Wheatsheaf, London

    Essential info: 6 Stoney St, SE1; wheatsheafborough.co.uk

    What’s on offer: Opening next to Borough Market means your food has to be something special. At the all-new Wheatsheaf, it is: its Eatsheaf street-food style menu, including sticky whiskey ribs, is served from a van in the beer garden.

    The clincher: Bubbling, bacon-spiked mac and cheese and a gluttonous mix-and-match menu.

  • Ready for the Pub Of The Year? 9

    1. The Lord Northbrook, London

    Essential info: 116 Burnt Ash Rd, SE12; thelordnorthbrook.co.uk

    What’s on offer: Our winner was formally a dive until new owners transformed it into a smart gastro affair. Expect bottles from Kernel alongside casks from Westerham.

    The clincher: The Sussex beefburger. And the aged Sussex sirloin. Ideally not at once.