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The Greyfriar - Pub of the Year Finalist

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ImageYes the Greyfriar managed to get to the finals of the Fullers Pub of the year competition again.

Having won the competition in for the category village / rural in 2003, failing to get into the finals in 2004, winning in 2005 we were very pleased to be in the final once again for 2006. The competition is for all Fullers pubs whether they are managed or tenanted and is judged in three stages.

The first hurdle to clear is eligibility.

All Fullers pubs are inspected four times a year by a beer quality advisor who will come unannounced. During this inspection all aspects of beer service quality are looked at and graded, this includes cellar cleanliness, cleanliness of the beer lines, ice machine, glasses, behind the bar, etc. Once a pub has had four consecutive visits where the standard is high enough the publican is awarded the title of “Master Cellar Man”. Inspections continue after this point and if in one visit the standards have dropped the accolade will be taken away and cannot be returned for at least a year, or after another four consecutive high standard visits.

ImageSo the pub of the year is only open to Master Cellar Man, the next thinning of the line up comes from the area managers who will cut the numbers down to approximately twenty four pubs, this is approximately the top five percentile of the estate. From this point the overall winner from the previous year, and at least ten willing volunteers from Fullers brewery have the onerous task of being driven round eight pubs a day for three days, sampling beer, food, looking at kitchens and cellars and questioning the publicans about how they go about there business! From this exercise there will only be six to ten remaining, “the finalists”.

This takes us to the last stage where three directors from Fullers will visit each of the finalists for about an hour and talk to them about the operation and try to decide who deserves to win each category. The categories are always the same, City (London pubs), Town (those not in a village outside London) and Village / rural pubs. This judgement is nearly impossible to quantify as there will be rural live music venues in the same category as destination food pub, Town boozer against large food biased pub with letting rooms etc. So the easiest way to explain how they judge this is on effort and results, the judges are looking for involvement, and actions and the results of those actions and those deemed to be working harder and being successful will win.

ImageThe difficulty comes when you have won before, the judges then have to judge you against yourself! And they are looking for real and tangible evidence that the pub has moved on and improved since last year, so it becomes increasingly difficult to win year on year, they like to share the prizes around a bit!

Still although we are no longer the best Village pub in the Fullers estate you can rest assured that we are nearly are! There’s always next year!


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