Plenty of cheer as transformed pub wins Camra national award
A STAPLEFORD pub has been named one of the country’s top real ale establishments, following a six-month transformation.
The Horse and Jockey, in Nottingham Road, is included in the Campaign for Real Ale’s (Camra) latest list of the UK’s Top 150 Local Real Ale Pubs.
The pub has also been named the Nottingham Camra Pub of the Year for 2013.
The accolades come after it was bought by new owners last August, and reopened following a refurb in October.
Manager Paul Guilford said: “We’ve completely renovated the pub around real ales.
“We had ten real ale hand pumps put in and turned it into a more old style, traditional pub. It was very much a bit of everything before.
“There were a lot of cheap lagers and the pub didn’t really have a strong aim. There were a few regulars but not a hardcore.
“We’re very busy now and have regulars coming from Stapleford and all around, like Beeston, Bramcote, Wollaton, Sandiacre, and Trowell. We even have people from Derby and Erewash coming in.”
Mr Guilford, 46, has previously worked at The Johnson Arms in Abbey Street, Dunkirk, and at the Queen Adelaide in Windmill Lane, Sneinton.
He said the Horse and Jockey’s new philosophy centred around its beers, and being part of the community.
“There’s no music, no fruit machines, no pool table or darts board. It’s all just about the real ales,” Mr Guilford added.
“We offer a small snack menu of homemade cold rolls and hot sausage rolls from John Bodsworth’s butchers in Bramcote Lane, Wollaton.
“It’s not just about everyone coming in and drinking here – we want to get a community spirit going.
“We also organise brewery tours, as we’ve got 35 micro breweries within a 20-mile radius of the pub. We’ve found there are a lot of people who have not been out in Stapleford for such a long time because there was nothing like this there for them before.”
From tomorrow, half of the pub’s pumps will feature beers by Giltbrook-based Blue Monkey Brewery. They include Blue Monkey’s beer Big Blue, which was declared the overall champion cask beer at the Nottingham Robin Hood Beer Festival last year.
The Horse and Jockey also plans to hold an event on May 8 to celebrate being named Nottingham’s Camra Pub of the Year.
Also featuring in Camra’s list of the 150 best real ale pubs in the country – which was voted for by local branch members – was The Dewdrop Inn in Ilkeston, The Forest Lodge in Edwinstowe, The Devonshire Arms in South Normanton, and the Black Bulls Head in Belper.
Mike Benner, Camra’s chief executive, commented: “These winning pubs have been voted the best in their local areas by the local Camra members.
“They are examples of the kind of well run and valued community pubs we hope to see more of throughout the UK.”