The Albion wins CAMRA Best Pub in Bedfordshire two years running
The Albion in Ampthill, is celebrating winning the Bedfordshire CAMRA Pub of the Year award after fighting off tough local competition for the second year in a row.
The pub had already won the title of South Bedfordshire CAMRA Pub of the Year through public votes, and went up against the North and East Bedfordshire winners to gain the overall Bedfordshire title. Independent judges anonymously visited each contending pub to decide which alehouse should receive the sought after award.
The Albion is a Project William pub, an Everards initiative that joins local independent brewers with Everards to invest in once unloved pubs and transform them into successes. The Albion is a collaboration between Everards and local Bedfordshire brewery, Banks & Taylor, and offers 12 hand pulls. Alongside eight guest ales which change on a regular basis, the Albion has four permanent ales available which are Everards Tiger and three Banks & Taylor ales – Golden Fox, DragonSlayer and local ale Shefford Bitter.
Co-owner of the Banks & Taylor Brewery, Martin Ayres said: “The fantastic news came on Sunday lunchtime, three years to the day since the Albion opened, when a CAMRA representative came in to tell the news to our manager Russell. It’s a great way to celebrate our three year anniversary and a real achievement to receive this level of recognition twice in such a short space of time – hopefully it’s a winning streak that we can continue.”
The next stage of the competition sees the Albion go through to the East Anglia regional round against six other pubs. Should it be successful it will be put forward for the CAMRA National Pub of the Year where it could be up against another Everards and Banks & Taylor Brewery Project William pub, the Seven Stars, which recently also won its regional round and was crowned Rugby CAMRA Pub of the Year.
Martin continued: “It’s quite staggering that both Bank & Taylor’s project William pubs with Everards have made it through to such a high level in the competition in such short spaces of time. The Albion has only been open three years and won twice, and the Seven Stars hasn’t even been open a year – something quite unheard of for CAMRA winners. It would be fantastic if both pubs could make it through to the national final!”
A CAMRA representative will be attending the Albion in Ampthill to present Banks & Taylor Owners, Martin Ayres and Mike Desquesnes, with the award later this month.