The Annual Liverpool and Districts CAMRA Awards evening took place at the KIND Centre on a warm July evening. Once again, we were indebted to Steve Yip and his Staff for looking after us and a light buffet plus a variety of beers and ciders from local suppliers was enjoyed by all. In addition to confirming the Branch Pub of the Year and the Pubs of Excellence voted by the Membership, the event seeks to reward licences and individuals who have delivered excellence throughout the year or contributed significantly to local and national campaigns. Occasionally, we reward excellence in campaigning over a longer period by presenting the Tony Molyneux Award that on this occasion went to Steve Downing whose campaigning activities can probably be traced back to the birth of the local Branch in 1974. Numerous anecdotes were shared with the audience by former Branch Chair Kevin Buckley and Steve’s friend and long-standing member, Ken Gellion. Other notable highlights were the presentation of the Roger Kirby Award to Carol Ross for her tireless campaign against unfair practices of major pub companies and the Bar Person of the year Award co-presented by Branch founder member Clive Pownceby to Kitty McNicholas from the Globe in Cases Street.
Liverpool Pigeon: CAMRA Liverpool & Districts Pub of the Year 2014
Pub of Excellence: Dispensary
Pub of Excellence: Belvedere
Jay Smith: Cellarmanship Award
Jim Tyson Cellarmanship Award
Kitty Mc Nicholas of the Globe: Bar Person of the Year
Steve Hughes receives a special Cider Award for Rosie’s
Steve Downing: Tony Molyneux Award
Carol Ross: Roger Kirby Award
Community Pub: Volunteer Canteen
Best Live Music Venue Award: The Caledonia
Most Improved Beer Range: Masonic in Garston
Augustus John: Cider Pub of the Year
Crown Hotel: Pub Renaissance Award
“The Awards evening is a Celebration of all our Real Ale Pubs and an opportunity to recognise and reward pubs and people that have made a significant contribution to real ale in Liverpool.” With these words Sonia James-Henry, the Chair of Liverpool CAMRA Branch, introduced the 2015 Awards Night.
Best Newcomer Award – the Pen Factory, Hope Street Sonia commented that since opening in December 2015, the Pen Factory had rapidly set high standards for its real ale and for its quality food. The Award was collected by proprietor Paddy Byrne, who after over forty years running the Everyman Bistro and having won a shed load of awards in the process, found it rather touching to now be described as the Best Newcomer ! Sonia also highlighted the loss of a good real ale pub, the James Munroe on Tithbarn Street, which had been in contention for the Best Newcomer Award, but had closed some weeks earlier due, it was reported, to difficulty in making the pub viable given high levels of rent for the building – an all too common story in a climate where pubs nationally are closing at the rate of 29 a week.
Community Pub Award – the Scotch Piper, Lydiate, Lancashire The Award was introduced by Liverpool CAMRA Committee member Sue Daniels, who described how the licensees Phil and Julie had taken on the thatched roofed Piper, the oldest pub in Lancashire, and had not only developed a reputation for the quality of the real ale, but had also enhanced the pub’s contribution to the community. They organised a series of charitable events, gave support to local organisations and continued to host the weekly gathering of motor bikers and the local scouts who ran a burger stall to feed the Hungry Bikers. She commented that when the pub was burgled with major damage done by a major water leak caused by the forced entry, the thieves had left a note apologising for the damage to the pub ! Accepting the Award, Phil and Julie said that the CAMRA Award meant, “a hell of a lot to us.” They were new to the pub business and had set out to put new life into the pub and the Award was a great encouragement to them.
Renaissance Pub - the Pumphouse, Albert Dock. Sonia explained that the Renaissance Award was for a pub that had either introduced real ale in a pub where it was not previously sold, or had greatly improved the quality or the range of the real ales already on offer. The Pumphouse is a Greene King pub which is in a prime location on the Albert Dock, but had been offering only a very limited range of real ales. The pub managers had decided to greatly expand the range of real ales from 3 to 10 hand pumps and to offer beers from breweries beyond the Greene King group, with beers from the likes of Liverpool Organic Brewery, Skinners and Robinsons now appearing regularly. Tracey, Clare, Ryan and Bill from the Pumphouse were in attendance to receive the Award.
LocAle Pub of the Year – Stamps Too, Crosby Liverpool CAMRA LocAle officer Andre Fu, announced the Locale Award, commenting that it was awarded to the pub that had been the first winner of the Award when it was introduced. Since then Stamps Too had consistently promoted LocAles (those brewed within 30 miles of the pub), with LocAles being in the majority of beers on the bar. Licensee Frank received the Award and thanked CAMRA for the hard work they did in promoting pubs and real ale.
Bar Person of the Year Award Kim Broughton, the Baltic Fleet, Wapping This was introduced by CAMRA member Dave Jones and was awarded to Kim Broughton of the Baltic Fleet, Wapping. Dave commended Kim’s personality, attitude and customer service in a role that is the essential interface between the customer and the beers. This is a role which can make or break a pub and the customer experience, leading either to the loss of a customer or a satisfied customer who returns again. The bar person was central to the success of a pub.
Brewer of the Year - Angus Morrison, Wapping Brewery. Angus Morrison had taken over from long time Wapping brewer, the legendary Stan Shaw. This was some challenge, but Angus had risen to it and had also put his own stamp and personality on the Wapping beers. Introducing the Award, Sonia described the Baltic Fleet as a great pub with great Wapping beers which were brewed beneath your feet in the cellar brewery. Accepting the Award, Angus described how it had been a big challenge taking over from Stan, but hoped he had justified the faith placed in him and that customers enjoyed his beers. Angus commented that he loved making beer and that his message was; ‘Drink Beer, Be Happy’.
Real Cider Pub of the Year - the Augustus John, Peach Street off Brownlow Hill, Liverpool University Liverpool CAMRA Cider Officer Steve Berks introduced the Award, which for the fifth time was being awarded to the Augustus John, known to many as the AJ. In addition the AJ had also twice won the CAMRA Regional Cider pub of the year Award, demonstrating the excellent range and quality of the real ciders and perries sold there. The AJ had also worked closely with Liverpool CAMRA in promoting real cider to customers and especially students. The Award was collected by Jim Townson from the AJ.
The Four Liverpool CAMRA Pubs of Excellence 2015 Sonia introduced the four Pubs of Excellence, explaining that these had been the finalists for the Liverpool CAMRA Pub of the Year 2015. They were;
The Dispensary, Renshaw Street – “always offering excellent beer quality”
The Ship and Mitre, Dale Street, “a pub on many people’s itinerary when visiting Liverpool”
The Lime Kiln, Concert Square “a Wetherspoon pub with a range of 12 real ales”
The Pi Bar, Rose Lane, Mossley Hill. A small neighbourhood bar which has been so successful it has had to expand into the shop next door.
The Liverpool Pigeon, Endbutt Lane, Crosby Sonia introduced the Award with the words, “a great little pub with a fantastic atmosphere, excellent beer quality, a varied clientele and also dog friendly. A deserved winner for the second year running” Accepting the Award, licensee Pat Moore said, “it is an honour to win this award for the second year running. It has been an exciting time opening, running and developing the pub. We want to showcase beer and serve it in top condition. We are looking to offer more beers including those from two new local micro breweries. I would also like to thank our staff, Ian and Geoff, for the great contribution they make to the pub.”
This article first appeared in Merseyale Autumn 2015
Tucked away amongst a row of shops, a short walk from the centre of Crosby, is the Liverpool Pigeon. One of Merseyside’s growing number of Micro Pubs the Pigeon has won the Liverpool and Districts Pub of the Year not once, but twice, in 2014 and 2015.
Here you will find a peaceful haven for the real ale (and real cider) drinker. Open the door and you will be greeted by the buzz of conversation and the rustle of newspapers, as here you won’t find televised sport, loud jukeboxes or fruit machines, just the vocalised appreciation of good beer!
The Clientele is varied both in age and gender, from the older generation who congregate for their afternoon pint to those who nip in for a quick drink after work, the pub is also dog friendly.
Pat, Jackie and their staff are passionate about beer they serve and despite only having 5 hand pulls, there is always a good range of different styles on offer often from local and micro-breweries. The use of over-sized glasses means that you are always ensured a full pint, and a good head.
Should you feel the need for some nibbles, cheese squares and locally made pies are available as well as nuts from the Liverpool Nut Company. There are also a small number of books and board games, perfect for whiling away those rainy afternoons.
Liverpool Pigeon opening hours are-:
Tuesday – Friday 4pm – 9pm
Saturday 12 noon – 9pm
Sunday 12 noon – 5pm
The Pigeon can be reached from Liverpool City Centre via bus from Queen’s Square (54, X2 from Stop 11 or 47 from Stop 10).
There are plenty of other real ale pubs in Crosby and Waterloo so why not make a day of it by following the LocAle trail shown in the map opposite. There are regular trains for Liverpool Central and Moorfields stations to Southport, if you alight at Waterloo you can start your crawl at Stamps Too (over the road from the station and to the right) then make your way to the Pigeon and back to Waterloo station again via a circular route.
Below is a locAle pub crawl of Crosby and Waterloo. This map does not show every pub in Crosby and Waterloo that serves real ale, only those locAle accredited. For a full list of pubs please goto WhatPub.
Liverpool Pigeon was branch Pub of the Year 2014 and 2015. Read more about Liverpool Pigeon here.
I am delighted to announce that The Liverpool Pigeon on Endbutt Lane, Crosby(L23 0TR ) (http://www.liverpoolpigeon.co.uk/) has been selected as Liverpool & Districts CAMRA Pub of the Year (POTY) 2015. This is the second year running that this prestigious title has been awarded to the Pigeon, so congratulations once again to Pat & Jackie Moore and barman,Paul, for keeping up the high standards needed to win the competition.
As Merseyside’s first Micropub, it is true to the formula as it serves no spirits, Alcopops or keg beers. No music, just good conversation. Belgian bottled beers are available, and usually two ciders.
It scored highly in all criteria used by the independent judges and positive comments made included:
“high quality beers bought and left to condition properly, producing a quality drink”
“sensible prices; comfortable atmosphere in that you can sit & chat, read the paper, do the crossword or whatever you want to do”
“oversized glasses used, meaning there is a perfect head on a full pint”
“when I went it was very busy with a good mix including children & a dog !”
Liverpool Pigeon has gone forward to the Merseyside POTY along with:
Southport & West Lancs, Freshfield, Formby
St Helens, Cricketers Arms
Wirral, Fox & Hounds, Barnston
We are pleased to announce the Pub of the Year 2014 for Liverpool & Districts branch is the LIVERPOOL PIGEON on Endbutt Lane, Crosby; the runner-up is the Dispensary followed by the Belvedere.
The Pigeon opened in mid-October last year and is run as a micro pub, meaning if offers a select range of products. This, of course, includes real ale & real cider but also bottled continental beer, wine and soft drinks. More details about the pub, including current opening hours, can be found on it's website (www.liverpoolpigeon.co.uk) or in the Winter 2013 issue of Merseyale which is available to view and download online . NB: opening hours have changed since the article was published.
In making their decision, the judges were particularly impressed by the range of beers that were on offer both in terms of the brewery and style, often including a dark beer as well as light. The proprietor, Pat Moore, his wife Jacky and barman, Paul are also enthusiastic supporters of locally produced beers alongside those from further afield.
Other positive comments made reference to the commitment made to the pub to support CAMRA aims including using over-sized glasses (only the second pub in our area to do so), not having any keg products on sale and not being afraid to return sub-standard beers rather than serving them to the paying public. And finally, the judges were comforted to be able to go into a pub that is not dominated by televised sport or music and have clean, well maintained toilets.
So congratulations to Pat, Jacky and Paul and here's hoping their innovative venture goes from strength to strength over the coming year as real ale drinkers “flock” to the Pigeon.
Further information on Liverpool Pigeon,including opening times, can be found on What Pub