Monday, 22 February 2010

And the Winner Is?

Although I unfortunately missed it, having been up in Norfolk, Saturday just gone saw the annual West Kent CAMRA Pub of the Year Tour. I hate to use the acronym POTY, but I suppose it saves having to type out "Pub of the Year" each time. CAMRA, like many organisations seems to love silly acronyms like this; for example they also have COTY (Club of the Year) and my own two pet hates LADS (Light And Dark Supporters - a sub-committee formed to fight mild's corner, and previously known as the Mild Marketing Board) and LAGRAD (Lesbian And Gay Real Ale Drinkers - CAMRA is supposed to be a broad church, welcoming people from all walks of life, so why it needs a separate sub group catering to a minority group is beyond me.)

Anyway, I digress and before I go off at a complete tangent about the internal workings and politics of CAMRA I would like to announce that the worthy winner of Pub of the Year 2010 for West Kent CAMRA, is the Halfway House, Brenchley. For those not in the know, this excellent country alehouse has up to a dozen cask beers on tap, all served by a clever gravity-fed arrangement from a temperature-controlled room. Virtually all the beers are from micro-brewers, and usually include a mild, as well as porter or old ale in winter. A local Kentish cider is normally available as well.

If all this wasn't enough, the pub itself is a characterful former coaching inn, that dates back to 1740. There are a series of inter-connecting rooms that lead up to the main bar area, with the aforementioned gravity-served beers. The Halfway House lies n a dip in the road and has extensive gardens to the side and rear. It also holds regular beer festivals, over the Whitsun and August Bank Holidays. featuring around 50 beers. The pub can be reached by means of the 297 bus, which runs from Tunbridge Wells through to Tenterden up until about six o'clock in the evening. I have also walked there across country from Paddock Wood station and, on one famous occasion, even cycled there!

The Halfway House doesn't have its own website, which is more the pity as I would love to post a link to it. You'll just have to take my word therefore (plus that of the dozen or so local members who attended the trip and voted for the pub), that it's the best pub in the West Kent CAMRA area, and a worthy winner of our Pub of the Year.


Mark said...

I've been meaning to go to the Halfway House for ages now - this has just made it more of a priority!

Curmudgeon said...

Looks a lovely, characterful old pub.

wittenden said...

I've been planning on coming here-I nearly made it last May,but work got in the way.We'll be at a fair at Brenchley during the summer, so I could get time off for good behaviour!

Paul Bailey said...

I forgot to mention that the beer prices are amongst the lowest in the area, with many beers selling for £2.60 a pint.

Mark - let me know when you are thinking of going over there, and perhaps we can arrange a joint visit.

Wittenden - it's certainly well worth getting time off for good behaviour!

Cooking Lager said...

If you have lots of subgroups in CAMRA, do you have a "lout" subgroup for lovers of the lout?

Paul Bailey said...

I expect there's a committee beavering away on it somewhere, Cookie.