John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards 2018

The John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards are back and entries are now open to those who think they have what it takes to be crowned the best pubs and bars in the UK.

The awards are organised by The Morning Advertiser and supported by a number of big name sponsors including Sky, Diageo GB, and Booker Wholesale. There is a choice of 17 categories to enter, ranging from Best Freehouse to Best Live Entertainment Pub. There is also the brand new category of Best LGBTQ+ Bar/Pub.

Entries can be made online, closing on the 18th May. From there, expert judges will create a longlist, then shortlist of pubs and bars, before selecting a winner in each category. Each of these winners then has a chance to go onto be named the John Smith’s Great British Pub of the Year.

Speaking about the impact the awards can have on a business, Glen Duckett, licensee of last year’s Great British Pub of the Year winner, told The Morning Advertiser:

“One of the most important things about winning was for staff morale – it gets all of the staff feeling really good, which is dead important. It’s also really good national exposure, which in turn boosts footfall.”

If you think your local has the makings of a champion you can get some tips from Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, on how to write a winning entry. You can also check out last year’s winners to see what is required to scoop a top prize.

So, what are you waiting for? Submit your entry now!

The categories include:

  • Best Beer Bar/Pub
  • Best Cider Bar/Pub
  • Best Community Pub
  • Best Family Pub
  • Best Food Pub
  • Best Freehouse
  • Best Inn
  • Best Live Entertainment Pub
  • Best Managed Pub
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Partnership Pub
  • Best Pub Garden
  • Best Spirits Bar/Pub
  • Best Sports Pub
  • Best LGBTQ+ Bar/Pub
  • Best Turnaround Pub
  • Best Wine Bar/Pub

And to really get you in the spirit, take a look at all the action from last year’s awards ceremony:

This time it could be you standing up there.

Good luck!


Setting-up Pint Perfection on your iPhone

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to sign-in to Pint Perfection, and save a link to your iPhone’s home screen so you’re able to access it quickly and easily during pub visits.

  1. Go to
  2. Sign-up/sign-in to your account
  3. Save the link to your phone’s home screen

Step 1: Load the Safari browser of your iPhone and visit (you must be sure to access the website via your Safari browser so you are able to save Pint Perfection to your home screen later).

Step 2: Sign-in to your Pint Perfection account using your Heineken UK approved email address. If you don’t already have an account, click ‘Not a member yet?‘ and sign-up using your HUK approved email address.

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply click on ‘Forgotten password‘ and we’ll get you sorted.

Step 3: Once you have signed in to your account, click on the ‘share’ icon at the bottom of your screen. Once the share options appear, scroll along and select ‘Add to Home Screen’. This will add the Pint Perfection icon to your home screen, making it super easy to access whenever you’re out and about.

If you have any comments or questions then please do get in touch and let us know. Every score really does make a difference.

BII Licensee of the Year Awards 2018

A pub can only be as good as the people running it. And if anyone can spot a well-run boozer, it’s the British Institute of Inn-keeping. They have trawled the country to find those publicans who go above and beyond to make their establishment the best it can possibly be – and they have just announced their 12 semi-finalists.

Each of the 12 pubs will now have a visit and interview from the BII judges, with 6 finalists being invited to the final judging day in London on Monday 4th June 2018. They’ll be treated to an overnight stay, courtesy of award sponsors Sky, and also receive a trophy to recognise their achievements.

Finally, at an event on Tuesday 5th June, one lucky licensee is crowned the best of 2018 – exciting stuff! Below you can check out all the hopefuls and their fabulous venues.

Licensee of the Year 2018 – Semi-finalists

Kim Barker – The Ship Inn – St Austell

Daniel Da Costa – St Christopher’s Inn – Southwark

Lee & Keris de Villiers – The Pig & Whistle – Wandsworth

Marc Duvauchelle – The Old Customs House – Portsmouth

Mark Holden & Justin Barnett – The Victoria Inn – Truro

Simon Mills – The Harvester – Long Itchington

Christopher Norfolk – The Elm Tree – Elmton

Mark Shaw – The Castle Inn – Castle Donnington

Jessica Stanton & Russ Matterson – The Halfway House Pub & Kitchen – Polbathic

Mark & Penny Thornhill – The King’s Head – Hursley

Rachel Watson – The George IV – Chiswick

Alex & Tanya Williams – Polgooth Inn – St Austell

Prizes for the overall winner include:

  • Two tickets and accommodation for the finalists to attend a Summer Event where the winner is crowned
  • A year’s Sky Sports Commercial Pub and Club subscription for their pub
  • Study trip with accommodation for two in Amsterdam (courtesy of Heineken)
  • Up to £500 towards a party for staff of the winning pub to celebrate
  • Lifetime membership of the BII

National Pub & Bar Awards 2018 – County Winners

Do you know which pub is the best in your county? Well, allow us to enlighten you. Because Pub & Bar Magazine have announced the county winners of their national award scheme, with 94 establishments up and down the UK being honoured.

Having been selected based on overall best practice across a number of operational categories, winners will now be invited to a red-carpet bash at the swanky BAFTA venue to celebrate their achievements. There will also be awards for 15 regional winners, as well as the accolade of overall Pub of the Year 2018 – which is a rather impressive title to possess, we must say.

Speaking about the awards, Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine, said, “This positive, industry-boosting news comes at a time when closures of pubs and bars are too often focused on in the press. The sole purpose of the National Pub & Bar Awards is to tell as many people as possible about the incredible businesses that these County Winners are running. With 94 triumphant pubs on the winners list, chances are that every person in the UK will have an award-winning pub near them. Get out there and see these places for yourselves!”

If you would like visit the winner of your county – or any county for that matter – you can find the full list of recipients, here.

Congratulations to all!

The Great Polar Pub Crawl

In what sounds like our personal dream holiday, a Plymouth man has driven from the northernmost pub on earth to the southernmost in an old Chimaera. Because, why not?

The idea for the Pub2Pub Expedition was conceived by Ben Coombs, an automotive writer and adventurer, whilst enjoying a pint in a pub in Dartmoor. In a noble quest to bring back the lost art travel, Coombs described the nature of his unique mission as, “a very British blend of elegance and eccentricity”. And, of course, it wouldn’t be very British if it didn’t involve a pub or two.

The first port of call took the team less than 700 miles from the North Pole, in an abandoned mining settlement called Pyramiden, on the Norwegian island of Svalbard. With the population of the settlement coming to a grand total of 4, all residents live together in the town’s old hotel – which just so happens to have a functioning bar. And since the requirements for an establishment to be classed as a ‘pub’ were to be 1) licensed, and 2) willing to sell a beer to any member of the public, the expedition was officially underway!

The Chimaera, nicknamed Kermit, was then driven through Europe to Southampton before being shipped to New York. Then began the long journey through the Americas to the southernmost bar, located in Puerto Williams in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Which Mr Coombes told the BBC was “…a bit of a dive actually” – but we can’t have everything in life, I suppose.

During his expedition between the 2 bars at the ends of the Earth, Mr Coombs, and his various companions who joined him along the way, covered a total of 3 continents, 24 countries, and more than 20,000 miles. With a new clutch for Kermit being the only major repair of the trip. You can read a full account of the epic journey from the man himself on the Top Gear website, which we would highly recommend.

Now, as the quest comes to an end, our protagonist and his team are heading back to where it all started to celebrate their achievement – and you’re invited! Writing on the Pub2Pub Facebook page, Ben Coombs has requested friends and fans of the trek join him at the Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor to, “meet the Pub2Pub crew, hear about the adventure, gaze upon the legendary Kermit and find out what’s next for our unique brand of automotive adventuring.”.

So, if you happen to be in the area this weekend (Sunday 15th April) why not pop along and be regaled with tales from the ultimate pub crawl! You might find yourself feeling inspired to take on your own…