A friendly local on Lancaster’s historic quayside has been chosen for the Most Improved Pub award from The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Partners Ian and Kye Lloyd were judged to have transformed the The George and Dragon into a thriving community pub with real character and excellent real ale.
In a “Meet the landlord” event at the pub, Ian said he was “stunned” by news of the award, which had been completely unexpected. Referring to the couple’s struggle to transform the G&D, he said: “It was very much a ghost pub when we took it over, and we’ve had to work flat out to make it into a place with real atmosphere that’s comfortable and welcoming.”
Ian’s priority has always been the beers (“without the real ale we wouldn’t be here”) and he keeps a good range of them in first class condition. There is a “request ale book” behind the bar, where customers’ preferences and requests are noted and, whenever possible, catered for.
But good ale is only part of the mix that makes the G&D a winner. It’s a comfortable place to be, with friendly staff and roots in the local environment. Said Ian: “We’re a community-based pub. Without the support of local people we wouldn’t survive.” And the locals certainly endorse what the pub has become, as the week before the pub broke all records for takings.
But while great beer and good company loom large for Ian and Kye, they have a different priority at the moment. Kye is expecting a baby, due in three weeks.
Watch this space for details of date and time when the MIP award will be presented to the pub by Lunesdale CAMRA.