This is the nomination for the Young Pretender, Congleton for branch Pub of the Year (POTY) 2014.
The YP regularly receives strong beer scores from CAMRA members in appreciation of the interesting mix of (usually) five cask beers on offer. These are from local brewers such as Cheshire Brewhouse, Beartown, Merlin, Redwillow and Wincle, and some further away such as Buxton, Marble, Thornbridge and Magic Rock. The mix of brewers allows an ever-changing range of tastes from lighter golden beers through to strong and complex stouts. The cask offering is complemented with a range of craft keg and bottled UK and continental beers from brewers such as Brew Dog, Erdinger and Vedett. Meet the Brewer evenings are held offering convivial opportunities to learn more about the brewing process and the people behind our favourite beers.
Bar staff are friendly and well-informed and there is always the opportunity to “try before you buy” if you are uncertain about a beer you are unfamiliar with. Blackboards offer information about all the beers available. Some nights can be very busy and you may have to wait to be served but staff remain friendly and professional when under pressure. The pub has had a strong relationship with CAMRA since its opening and members receive a warm welcome. A 2013 Pub of the Season, Out Inn Cheshire is always stocked and recently the YP gave over its film night to the local Branch to view the CAMRA “40 years old” dvd.
The YP is a recent addition to Congleton, having been converted from a high street toy shop almost two years ago so is not the most appealing in terms of architecture. But this has given it a relatively large floor-area which is often needed to accommodate the wide range of popular events it hosts as well as busy Friday and Saturday nights. However, at quieter times such as during the afternoon, the pub is still welcoming and it is possible to enjoy a pint and read Out Inn Cheshire in peace. A range of interesting artwork adorns the walls which adds to the eclectic feel of the pub. The pub attracts drinkers of all ages and is equally popular with both men and women. Artisan pies and lighter snacks are available throughout the day.
This is the area in which the YP really stands out from the crowd and gives it its “USP”. The YP is regularly packed because it is not just a pub selling great beer but provides a centre for community events and entertainment including:
Sunday Quiz Nights
- Wednesday Film Nights
- Thursday Open Mic or local musicians
and a Book Club, Creative Writing, Poetry workshops, Beartown Bobbins (crafts) Spanish, French and German conversation. The “SciBar” which offers an opportunity to discuss scientific issues with experts in their field in a social environment is proving particularly popular. A chess and backgammon club is also apparently coming in the new year. The YP is now an established venue for music events such as Congleton Unplugged and the annual Blues and Jazz Festival.
Finding out more
Please check out WhatPub for more information on the pub as well as how to find it.