Say whatever you want about us Mancs, but you can’t say we don’t love a pub (and a pint for that matter). So the news that the best pub in Greater Manchester has been decided, and is now in the running for the national award, is big in our region.
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) named The Fox & Pine in Oldham the best pub in Greater Manchester this August. CAMRA described the pub as: “A new and very valuable addition to the previously sparse Real Ale scene in Oldham Town Centre, the Fox and Pine is a real ale lovers delight. 10 hand pumps serving varied beer styles (there will always be at least one dark beer on) plus 6 Real Ciders.
“The pub also features 5 ABK fonts for those who like traditional Bavarian Beer. The Bar is downstairs with an open seating area, whilst upstairs are two linked rooms. It is all decorated with a Fox and Pine theme (The name referring to the origins of the owners from Leicester and Oldham).”
Covering the entire UK, the regional finalists battled it out with thousands of pubs across the country to be crowned the winner in their area.
Pubs in the competition are scored on their atmosphere, décor, welcome, service, inclusivity, overall impression, but most importantly – the quality of live beer, real cider and perry. Last year’s winner was the Tamworth Tap, Staffordshire which has once again reached the final 16.
The cream of the crop will now go forward to the grand final for the National Pub of the Year 2023 crown – the highest accolade afforded to British pubs. The final four will be announced in October, before the overall winner is announced in early 2024.
Andrea Briers, National Coordinator for the Pub of the Year competition, said: “I am delighted to announce this year’s final 16 pubs. I would like to congratulate each and every one of them for their hard work against a difficult backdrop for the trade with increasing energy costs, business rates and the cost-of-living crisis impacting on people visiting pubs.
“It is testament to the winners that they are facing these challenges head on and they are a shining example to what can be done. I would also like to thank their loyal customers who continue to support them in these difficult times.
“There are thousands of amazing pubs across the country and I would encourage everyone to visit their local and seek out others where they live. Not only will that support local businesses, but pubs play a vital part in communities which we want to both protect, promote and see them thrive.”
In the wake of the demolition of the Crooked House, CAMRA recently declared the issue of unlawful conversion and demolition of pubs in England a ‘nationwide scandal‘. In 2017 planning law was changed so that pubs in England could not be converted or demolished without planning permission, but shocking figures published by CAMRA last week show that over 30 pubs may have been demolished or converted without planning permission in the last six months.
The recognition and celebration of top-quality pubs has never been more important in the fight to ensure that locals across the country are thriving and kept safe from demolitions such as these.
You can find the Fox & Pine at 18 Greaves St, Oldham, OL1 1AD.