In late breaking news it has been announced that the pub is a CAMRA Supreme Regional winner and will now go forward as one of the four finalists for the title of CAMRA National Pub of the Year.
The pubs are judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly – quality of beer.
The Good Beer Guide’s Editor, Roger Protz, praised the top four pubs, all featured in the Good Beer Guide 2016. “Being named as one of the super region pubs in Britain is no easy task, and these pubs have worked hard to maintain a high level of calibre that other pubs around the country should look to. These four pubs will now be judged against each other to be crowned the best pub in Britain.”
Sandford Park Alehouse owner-manager, Grant Cook, said: “We were absolutely delighted to win the South West regional section of CAMRA’s Pub of the Year. We try to bring a fresh approach to the 21st Century pub and are greatly encouraged by the award. To now hear that we are in the final four is amazing news! It will give us a platform to put on new and interesting quality beer events and also keeps a healthy pressure on us to always live up to our standards of quality, service, atmosphere and value.”
Since the Cheltenham High Street pub opened in April 2013, Grant Cook and his team have built a strong reputation for quality and choice: the number of different draught real ales served has passed 1,300. In addition to the regularly changing real ales there are 16 craft keg ales and 80 bottled world beers.
CAMRA Regional Director Gareth MacDonald, who presented the South West award, said: “Grant’s achievement at the Sandford Park Alehouse is staggering. The pub only opened two years ago, so to reach the status of South West Pub of the Year so quickly is fantastic. What makes the pub stand out is its ability to appeal to people of all ages, backgrounds and tastes. It’s a 21st century pub which is always looking to the future, with great quality and variety of real ales, craft beers, and quality world bottled beers – all served in a clean, bright, welcoming and comfortable environment.”
Grant Cook thanked the pub’s regulars and well-wishers at the presentation. “It’s a honour to win this award, but the credit also goes to the many people who work and have worked here; for their knowledge, enthusiasm and hard work. I would also like to thank our many regulars and visitors. It’s their awareness, discernment and demand for quality and choice that keeps us on our toes.”