CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today announced the winner of its National Club of the Year Competition as the Albatross RAFA Club in Bexhill-on-Sea which saw off competition from more than 28,000 clubs nationwide.
The Albatross was judged in the final as the winner ahead of three other award-winning CAMRA clubs from across the country, the Cheltenham Motor Club, the Kinver Constitutional Club in Stourbridge, Staffordshire and the Orpington Liberal Club, Kent.
Club Mirror magazine and CAMRA joined forces three years ago in the quest to each year find the club most committed to top quality real ale in welcoming surroundings with a fantastic atmosphere.
Club of the Year final judge Keith Spencer, who is presenting the award to the Albatross, said: “The club offers a wide range of beer and cider which is kept in great condition, but that is only part of the story. The bar staff and steward are part of a bigger team that makes the Albatross the epitome of what a community asset should be. Everyone connected with the club ensures the welcome is warm for everyone that enters the club.
“On a visit there before Christmas, they were holding a mince pie and raffle evening for the local OAPs and the club was bursting at the seams with happy customers generating a fantastic atmosphere.”
John Holland, chairman of CAMRA’s Clubs Advisory Group and organiser of the competition, commented: “CAMRA’s Club of the Year Competition each year goes from strength to strength as more and more clubs show great commitment to quality real ale.
“This has made it increasingly difficult to become a CAMRA Regional Club of the Year and then get through to the final. Therefore I anticipate an extremely close fight to become CAMRA’s next Club of the Year.” See below about entering your club into CAMRA’s Club of the Year Competition.
Clubs are nominated by CAMRA branches across the country and judged by panels of volunteer CAMRA members throughout the year.
The Albatross hosts popular beer festivals in April and September in its large function room and has a full diary of regular social events including jazz, folk and quiz nights. It stocks beers from local brewers such as Rother Valley, Weltons and Dark Star. The club boasts an interesting collection of RAF memorabilia. It has been the local Club of the Year each year since 2012 and regional Club of the Year in both 2013 and 2014.
The CAMRA Club of the Year 2016 Award will be presented at 1.30pm on Thursday 24 March when the local CAMRA branch and club members will be in attendance.
Overall Winner: The Albatross Club, 15 Marine Arcade, Bexhill-on-sea, East Sussex, TN40 1JS
•Cheltenham Motor Club
•Kinver Constitutional Club, Staffordshire
•Orpington Liberal Club
Clubs that serve great quality real ale, cider or perry can now be entered into CAMRA’s next upcoming Club of the Year Competition. Simply complete the online nomination form found at www.camra.org.uk/cotynomination by Friday 6 May 2016 please.