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CAMRA Lunesdale

Green Ayre is real ale pub of the season

CAMRA chairman Cliff Laine (left) with Green Ayre managers Stuart Blackburn (right) and Ben Tate

The Green Ayre in Lancaster has been voted Pub of the Season for summer by members of the local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The award is in recognition of the pub’s imaginative promotion of real ales, particularly through festivals which showcase local and regional brewers.

The pub is part of the JD Wetherspoon group, but recent beer festivals have been the idea of the local management team and have been staged independently of the national chain. One featured the beers of Morecambe brewer Bryson’s, another pale and golden ales from breweries in Lancashire and Cumbria.

In presenting the award, Lunesdale CAMRA chairman Cliff Laine praised the management team for its bold initiatives. “They’re very enthusiastic about spreading the word on cask conditioned ale to a bigger audience and in supporting the producers on our doorstep. The result is a really interesting selection of beers.”

Green Ayre manager Stuart Blackburn, who has been at the pub only seven months, said that winning the award was “phenomenal — a great honour,” and put success down to team effort. “We also asked customers what they wanted and have listened to ideas from the local CAMRA people.”

The pub’s most ambitious promotion is set to take place in September when a festival with a cricketing theme will be held. The event — in aid of CLIC, the charity for children with leukaemia — will feature beer favourites from the major cricketing counties with, it is hoped, a big name from the sport making an appearance.