23 March 2018
Out Inn Cheshire

The Out Inn CHESHIRE magazine is now available in your local pub or online. Issue 75 was published August 2017

Good Beer Guide

Britain's original number-one, independent guide to good beer and good pubs. Reserve your copy now at CAMRA Shop

GBG 2012 Cover

Our Branch..

Besides Macclesfield, our branch includes Congleton, Holmes Chapel, Knutsford, Wilmslow and surrounding areas. Postcodes covered are CW12, CW4, WA16, SK9, SK10 & SK11 (in Cheshire).

Young Pretender, Congleton is branch Pub of the Year 2014

We're pleased to announce that the Young Pretender in Congleton has been chosen as CHESHIRE PUB OF THE YEAR 2014 and now goes forward against the Freshfield in Fornby in the Merseyside & Cheshire regional competition. This follows on from being selected as our branch pub of the year 2014. Congratulations to the YP team. Details of the original nomination can be found here. The Cheshire Pub of the Year presentation was on Saturday 27th September see events list.

Pub of the Year 2014 voting

The nominations are in for Macclesfield & East Cheshire branch Pub of the Year 2014. It's time to cast your vote. The nominations in alphabetical order are:

Click on the links above for description from the proposer of the pub.

How to vote

You must have recent knowledge of all three pubs. We ask you to consider four simple criteria when voting: beer, staff, pub & community experience. They are described in more detail below.

Send your vote listing the pubs in order (1st, 2nd & 3rd choices) to pubsofficer@eastcheshirecamra.org.uk. with POTY VOTE in subject line.

ALSO include your CAMRA membership number and postcode so we can verify you are a current CAMRA member.

The deadline for voting is 9th March 2014. VOTING IS NOW CLOSED.

Pub of the Year 2014 Nominations

Each year the branch selects and votes on the prestigious "Pub of the Year" (POTY). Last year's winner was the Wharf in Macclesfield. Our branch POTY then goes into the Cheshire competition. The winner of this goes against the other winner in the region, then to super-regional and then to the final CAMRA national Pub of the Year.

Any member can nominate a pub with the proviso they write up a short piece on why they are nominating the pub. We suggest that the write up is based upon the branches "experiences" criteria described below. Members then go on to vote by ranking the pubs in order of preference based on these "experiences".  

The different “experiences” described here are only a guide.  There are no rights and wrongs. Your own experience of pubs and what you enjoy is also a good guide. If you think there is something missing in the following guidelines please let the Branch Pub of the Year organisers know so that these criteria may evolve. Each of the 4 selection criteria described in this section carry an equal weight.

Beer experience
This is a blend of real ale quality, number and range.Beer scores must be above the minimum for GBG entry, but the pub does not have to be in the current GBG.
Beer quality on its own will rarely be a deciding factor because there should never be a big difference in beer quality amongst serious contenders for this award.
The number of real ales on offer may make a small difference. The range of different beer styles may be important.  A good beer experience includes a choice for everyone so a pub serving mild, porter/stout, and different styles of bitter (e.g. some golden, some darker) should be recognised, and a pub serving several beers of the same style (e.g. all golden ales) may be viewed less favourably. In some pubs with a lower turnover bottle conditioned beers may provide an acceptable alternative to cask.

Staff experience
This is about how well you were received, served, and informed about the beer on offer, and how engaged is the licensee with CAMRA. Were you made to feel welcome?  If the bar was busy were you acknowledged by the bar staff and served in your turn? Did you receive a full pint? Were you fully informed about the real ales on offer and their price before ordering?  Blackboards may indicate the name, style, ABV of the real ales, whilst a brief description is appreciated. Is there evidence that the licensee does more for CAMRA than just sell real ale?  For example, is the local newsletter available or evidence of other CAMRA related literature? Has the landlord done anything exceptional during the last year to support or promote CAMRA, such as running a mini-beer festival, taking time out to talk to customers who show an interest in his beers.  Has the landlord a long and distinguished record of supporting CAMRA over many years? Remember if the licensee is not present the staff who are present are his representatives and how well they are trained and informed is a reflection on the landlord and the pub’s worthiness for this award.

Pub experience
This is about the building and the atmosphere generated within the pub and its garden or other outdoor drinking area. The pub’s exterior appearance and interior décor should be in keeping with the age and style of the building.  Drinking should be an enjoyable, social experience so the ambience should engender conversation with friends and also with strangers.  This is not about your interaction with the staff, which is “staff experience”, but more about the other customers.  Do you feel comfortable, relaxed and enjoying the experience? If the pub is quiet is it still friendly or is it a little cold and austere. Does the pub offer something extra that means it is a pub CAMRA wants to shout about?  Will publicising this pub be good for the campaign. Is it a pub that will appeal to all sections of the public or only to a limited cross-section?  Families?  Sports fans? The young? The old?  Male and female?

Community experience
This is about the pub being part of the community that it serves. Does the pub provide a welcome retreat for those who live locally?  Is the pub the hub of its immediate community? If there are societies or teams based at the pub this is often evidence that the pub serves the immediate community, such as golf societies, support for the local cricket team, darts, crib or domino teams, walking clubs, book clubs, trips to local or national events.

Wharf Pub of the Year EXAMPLE nomination

This is an example of a Pub of the Year nomination for the Wharf in 2013. It is not a current nomination!

A popular free house with the local branch. The Wharf, on Black Road. closed for some time, was purchased by Chris Stairmand, formerly of the Hollins, and a period of redecoration followed. The one roomed pub reopened in Sept 2011. The central bar has been painted to reference a narrowboat (the Wharf is just down the road from the Macclesfield marina) and around it Chris has managed to include both a cosy ‘snug’ type area, (carpet, a real stove in the fireplace, lined by shelves laden with books and games) and a more open wood floored area with space for darts, pool, live music nights, and a large screen TV which is only on for big matches and events, and which does not impinge on the front part of the pub. There are five handpumps, Wharf Bitter and 4 guests from nationwide but often local beers as well. A dark beer and a gold are usually on. There is also a real cider, craft Keg beers, and a wide range of English and foreign bottled beers, wheat beers, and now gluten free beers. Open from 4pm to 12.00 Mon to Wed, and 12.00-12.00 Thurs/Fri and weekends. Pub of the Season for summer 2012, and GBG 2013/14 entry.

Beer Experience
The Wharf has an outstanding record for quality over the last 18 months, Chris has a house beer brewed by a Yorkshire brewer and up to 4 guest beers from far         afield and local. There will usually be a stout/porter/mild on the bar, and a balance of blonde and amber beers make up the rest. Another hand pull will be added soon. A real cider or perry is always available as well as an inventive range of craft Keg. A large bottled beer selection, including even gluten free, make for a great choice for all tastes. "Meet the Brewer"; evenings have been held. Chris even has a "HopRocket"; with which to show off certain hop styles and their effects. Beer score is 3.87 for the last 12 months.

Staff Experience
Chris the landlord is only to happy to engage customers on his selection of beers and beer styles in general and to offer samples, often unprompted. The service is of a high standard from all the staff, and Chris is very conscious that his staff should reflect well on his pub. The pub is a great supporter of CAMRA and has all the local magazines and leaflets on display. Chris is a keen user of social media sites and posts details of all his beers on there on a very regular basis. To say the landlord was passionate about beer would be a gross understatement.

Pub Experience
Starting from the outside the Wharf looks an attractive pub, situated on a corner and in great exterior decorative order. The decor and finish is of a high standard through out and in tune with the age of the pub. A central bar divides the pub into effectively lounge and public bar areas. The front part of the pub(lounge) has plenty of seating, real fire, and reading area/library, leading round to a more open area with a pool table,dart boards and skittles as well as entrance to the outside drinking /smoking area. The Wharf is a regular for a wide range of customers- families, locals of all ages and sports fans. It is rare not to find yourself chatting to another customer, as the pub has a friendly atmosphere.

This pub has a great local following, as well as drawing in real ale lovers from far and wide. It runs the following teams; 2x seven a side football; 2x Pool; 2x Darts; 2x Skittles. Live music at the weekends is always welcome, and some great acts have been seen there, from a 16 piece swing band, to solo folk artists, with all stations in between. Last year Chris even invited the jubilee street party to use the pub as it was washed out, and even let them bring in their own beer and food! Dogs are welcome, also children, if well behaved. Customers are welcome to borrow books from the shelves and as well as the CAMRA information, there are often leaflets on local issues.

Nominated by Dave Hasler Jan 2013

Upcoming events
Events diary
Also see the year event diary. Non-CAMRA events in italics. Confirmed events in bold. read more ...
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