A Blackpool hotel which has embraced the cause of real ale has been voted ”pub of the season” by Fylde real ale enthusiasts.
Despite Albert’s Ale Microbar, in Albert Street, having only been open since last May, it has been chosen by Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre CAMRA members as their spring pub.
Blackpool’s only micropub, Lytham and St Annes have their own, has already acquired a loyal fan base and a reputation for high-quality real ale.
The bar started out in the dining room of the Albert Hotel, before moving downstairs to the basement it now currently occupies. The move has enabled the venue to upgrade from a couple of beers on gravity to a fully-formed bar with two handpumps, locally-sourced real cider and a range of bottled beer (25 varieties from Belgium alone).
CAMRA branch chairman Rob Wheatley said : “Albert’s has gone above and beyond the call of duty in turning the venue from a mere hotel bar into a pub that non-residents will actively seek as a destination of choice, knowing that they will be getting good beer and a great atmosphere.”
Accepting the award, landlord George Forrest said: “I owe a debt of thanks to CAMRA’s members for their support and encouragement - locally and nationally. “Many people from other branches have seen the bar advertised on Whatpub and have made a point of sampling our ale.”
"The bar has also proved popular with hotel guests. Our real ale-loving residents are pleasantly surprised to see hand pumps in the hotel bar. I’ve even managed to convert a few keg-drinking guests to real ale.”
The micropub phenomenon started a few years ago in Kent before spreading north and, following the No. 10 Alehouse in St Annes and the Craft House in Lytham, Albert’s has helped the trend gain a foothold on the Fylde Coast.
The old-style “drink and a chat” atmosphere is proving to be a hit with drinkers looking for a break from pool and intrusive music.