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Branch Pub and Club of the Year Announced

Thanks to all Durham CAMRA members who took part in the vote for Branch pubs and club of the year 2016. The votes have been counted and ratified by the branch and the results are given below. Congratulations to winners, runners-up and all who received nominations. The winners will now go forward to the regional competitions in the respective categories.

Thanks are also due to Black Paw Brewery and the Station House, Durham for providing prizes in the draw amongst those members submitting votes. The winners of these are in the process of being contacted.

Town Pub of the Year
Winner: Ye Old Elm Tree, Durham. Retaining the title won in 2015, this pub has featured beer from the wood, revealed a railway-based mural, and simply carried on being popular. Congratulations to Stacey and all behind the bar, who keep things just right.
Runner-up: The Tap and Spile, Framwellgate Moor. Again, retaining its position only just a few votes behind, with the ever-changing range of ales from all over the country keeping drinkers satisfied. Congratulations to Lesley for keeping the ales coming.

Country Pub of the Year
Winner: The Dun Cow, Seaton Village. Out towards the eastern edge of CAMRA Durham’s area, this pub was a firm favourite in the past, and has forced its way back to the attention of beer fans by providing two light and two dark beers, and being generally what a proper pub should be. A two-roomed gem not too far from the A19. Well done.
Runner-up: The Surtees Arms, Ferryhill Station. Last year’s winner, and a previous regional winner, the Surtees continues to provide all of the things a proper pub should, with the added advantage of the Yard of Ale brewery on the premises. Guest ales also feature, as do regular beer festivals. Congratulations Alan.

Town Cider Pub of the Year
Winner: The John Duck, Durham. Another pub to retain the position it achieved in 2015, the John Duck offers ciders from across the spectrum, and has the added benefit of a good range of ales to back this up. Well done to all at the Duck.
Runner-up: The Head of Steam, Durham. With interesting cider options to complement the three real ales and wide range of bottles from around the world, there is something to satisfy every taste here. The imagination of the staff in maintaining this selection is to be commended.

Country Cider Pub of the Year
Winner: The Black Lion, Wolsingham. No surprises here, as the largest selection of cider regularly on offer in County Durham has brought the trophy to Meadhope Street for the fourth consecutive year. The cider menu hangs above the bar, offering a wide choice which often includes perry. Congratulations Sara-Jane
Runner-up: The Black Bull, Frosterley. This unique hostelry is a previous winner, and was just off the top this time, as it was last year. Duncan and the team have created a pub with great character, and one of the highlights of a winter trip up Weardale is sitting in the rocking chair by the open fire with a pint of cider or perry.

Club of the Year
Winner: Tanfield Lea WMC. Over the last year or so, the club has impressed with its passionate promotion of real ale, offering brews from across the land not often seen in the North East, never mind in a WMC. With two ales always on offer, club-goers in Tanfield Lea have a choice available in few other clubs
Runner-up: Chester le Street Cricket Club. A winner on several previous occasions, the Cricket Club continues to provide good ale and a cracking view of the cricket field.