Pub in Blackpool's 'party zone' win's best ale award

Blackpool Fylde and Wyre CAMRA Branch Chairman Rob Wheatley, right, presents the Pub of the Year award to landlord Lee Rawlings and his staff Sharon and Kelly.
Blackpool Fylde and Wyre CAMRA Branch Chairman Rob Wheatley, right, presents the Pub of the Year award to landlord Lee Rawlings and his staff Sharon and Kelly.
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A Blackpool pub in the heart of  the town’s party area has been chosen as the best for real ale on the coast.

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Campaign for Real Ale members have chosen Bar 19 as their 2018 Pub of the Year.

The Queen Street bar, an oasis of cask ale in an area of town more noted for its “fun pubs” and 2-for-1 discounts, beat competition from two previous winners to land the award.

A huge turnout of CAMRA members was on hand to see the award presented by branch chairman Rob Wheatley to landlord Lee Rawlings.

Mr Wheatley said: “CAMRA doesn’t just visit pubs with horse brasses, folk musicians and the like – we go anywhere that our members like to drink, and Bar 19 is one of our favourite haunts. “Every time we come here we find excellent beer in excellent condition.

“We also enjoy the lively atmosphere and friendly service.

“Many landlords have said that you can’t sell real ale in this part of town –clearly Lee can. “The low price probably helps, but the quality of the beer is the main draw.”

Accepting the award, landlord Lee Rawlings said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us - both the regulars and the CAMRA members who have stood by us over the last four years, as well as the staff.

“We sell keg beer even more cheaply than cask, and yet I’ve converted many regulars and staff to real ale. Four years ago I asked the owner if I could have one hand-pump on the bar. He said that it would never work. Now we have four hand-pumps.

“Our bar is one of the longest in Blackpool and yet all the customers are gathered at the end where the hand-pumps are.”

See also: Fylde coast pubs in awards win