Dacorum Pubs Win Big in Annual Awards

Rob Muirhead at the Kings Arms Tring

The King’s Arms in Tring has been crowned ‘Champion Pub of the Year’ by the Mid-Chilterns branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.

CAMRA is thought to be the biggest consumer organisation in Europe and was set up in the early 70’s to protect cask beer and British pubs. Each year, the local Mid-Chilterns branch recognises the best pubs in an area that covers the entirety of Dacorum, along with other parts of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

The King’s Arms were nominated for their exceptional offer of local cask ale and hospitality, along with other star qualities such as a ‘gorgeous, traditional interior’ and a well-regarded food menu.

Rob Muirhead, owner and landlord at The King’s Arms, took to the helm of the pink-painted pub in 2014, celebrating a decade of service in January of this year.

Rob’s team at The Kings Arms is overseen by manager Gavin, a team which is has been thrilled to receive their award, as Rob tells: ‘We are delighted to receive this recognition from CAMRA. We have always prided ourselves on our real ales and to receive this award is a privilege and an honour.’

Jared Ward, chairman of Mid-Chilterns CAMRA, added: ‘I am very excited to announce The King’s Arms as our champion Pub of the Year. Congratulations to Rob now in his second decade of ownership, and to Gavin and the team for their unwavering dedication to hospitality and real ale.’

Local pubs were further represented in the awards announcement on 13 March, through wins for The Rising Sun in Berkhamsted as ‘Cider Pub of the Year’, The Red Lion in Dagnall taking ‘Community Pub of the Year’, and The Bell scooping ‘Best Newcomer.’

A special commendation was given to Clint Whitaker, former owner and landlord at Monks Inn in Hemel Hempstead, for ‘Dedication to Cask Beer, Real Cider and community values’.

The localised pub awards are operated annually using scores from CAMRA’s membership voting system. These scores are considered by the branch committee, who announce winners and runners-up across a variety of categories.

Expanding on the importance of the awards, Jared comments: ‘Drinkers may not realise that cask beer is a fresh product (hence the phrase ‘real ale’), and even once it has left the brewery, requires constant attention across a myriad of areas to serve a perfect pint.

‘The awards are a great time of year for the branch, we embrace them as an opportunity to showcase local pubs, with publicans that are as much impassioned about beer as we are.

‘CAMRA is a consumer organisation, therefore all committee work is carried out on a voluntary basis, a passion project for all involved – we are glad that the awards can hold some gravitas in the local community.’

To award-winning pubs in Dacorum, there’s something to raise a glass to!