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Amber Valley - Pub Of The Year

Pub of The Year 2014

Another closely run contest this year with twenty judges visiting the eight shortlisted pubs. Building on their success of last year its a repeat performance for Nicky and Andy.

Winners - Black Bulls Head, Openwoodgate  

We are pleased to announce this year's winner is The Black Bulls Head at Openwoodgate. Congratulations go to Nicky and Andy and their hard working team for back-to-back wins.

Runners Up - Holly Bush Inn, Makerney


Pub of The Year 2013

This year a total of seventeen judges assessed the eight shortlisted pubs over an eight week period. It was another competitive year with more quality pubs than ever before competing for the title.

Winners - Black Bulls Head, Openwoodgate 

We are pleased to announce this year's winner is The Black Bulls Head at Openwoodgate. Congratulations go to Nicky and Andy and their hard working team.   Following a major redecoration, an overhaul of the cellar and restoration of the open fire, they have transformed the pub iIn just over 12 months .  They have taken a unloved, forgotten ex-Greene Pub to unfamiliar new heights and raised the bar for standards in our area.

Runners Up - Old Oak, Horsley Woodhouse

Runners up for the third year running is the Old Oak at Horsley Woodhouse which continues to to be at the forefront of the real ale scene in our area.

Last year's winner the Hunter Arms came third. 

Pub of The Year 2012

A dozen competition judges assessed the nine Pub of the Year finalists, which had been nominated by Amber Valley CAMRA members, on a broad criteria over a five week period.  Following another extremely competitive year of judging, we are proud to announce our winner and runner up of our Pub of the Year for 2012.  Its two very familiar pubs, both thoroughly deserving and both having finished in the same positions as the previous year.

Winner - Hunter Arms, Kilburn

From abandonment to consecutive Amber Valley CAMRA Pub of the Year awards; that's the stunning success story of the Hunter Arms, Kilburn. 

As recently as 2009, the pub was closed with little sign of it ever reopening. Fortunately, for the residents of Kilburn and beyond, charismatic Canadian Mark Showers and his wife, London born Paula, who had originally met in 1990, stepped in to buy the striking Victorian inn, and to its flagging fortunes. 

After landscaping of the garden and a thorough clean-up, the pub was soon thriving. After re-establishing the pub's customer base with a mouth-watering range of beers frequently featuring Blue Monkey, Thornbridge and Oakham breweries the successful turnaround was complete.  This resulted in not one, but two Amber Valley CAMRA Pub of the Year awards in 2011 and 2012

After this year's presentation, a beaming Mark said "given the stiff competition, I'm delighted to receive this recognition, especially as it's the second such award. It's been made possible by the hard work of Paula and our dedicated staff."

Runners Up - Old Oak, Horsley Woodhouse

The runner up, the Old Oak, Horsley Woodhouse, has been at the forefront of the local real ale scene for longer than the Hunter's, with the weekly mini beer festival that is the RuRad bar continuing to attract custom from far and wide. Richard and Tracey Creighton have been justly rewarded for their hard work and enterprise at a homely pub that offers excellent value for money.

The pub has been runners up in both 2011 and 2012 narrowly missing out on both occasions.  It will no doubt be strong competition again in 2013.

Both pubs are serviced by the Amber Line bus route with stops conveniently situated right outside.

The Campaign for Real Ale's online pub guide

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