Historic town pub wins the day with award from Camra

Corri and Rodney Burke at the New Inn with their award from Camra.
Corri and Rodney Burke at the New Inn with their award from Camra.

A historic town centre pub has won an award from real ale campaigners.

The New Inn in Market Square, Biggleswade, has been awarded the prestigious Pub of the Year title by East Bedfordshire Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The pub is owned by pub retailer and brewer Greene King, but as tenants, responsibility for the business lies with husband and wife team, Rodney and Corri Burke.

They were presented with a trophy by the chairman of East Bedfordshire CAMRA, John Goodlet, at the pub.

In awarding the New Inn, CAMRA members recognised the pub’s broad appeal to a wide range of cask ale drinkers thanks to its friendly atmosphere and well-trained team, describing it as a “real ale pub of the future”.

The award comes as Greene King and the New Inn team embark on a project to create a dedicated microbrewery at the back of the pub, so the New Inn can brew its own beer on site.

Corri said: “We are proud to be a traditional cask ale pub. Cask ale is such a fantastic and diverse drink and there are endless variations to try. It is a cliché, but I do think there is something for everyone. With work on our own microbrewery now underway, we are excited about adding to that mix with brews exclusively made and sold here at the New Inn.

“We are absolutely over the moon with this award.”

The inn is known for its commitment to stocking cask ales from local breweries such as Oakham Ales, Leighton Buzzard Brewing Company and Nethergate Brewery. It was extensively refurbished in 2014 and as well as serving eight cask ales, the New Inn also sells three different types of real cider. The pub’s commitment to real ale was also recognised last year when it featured in the Good Beer Guide.

Clive Chesser, managing director for Greene King Pub Partners, said: “This is a well-deserved accolade for Corri and Rodney, who take great pride in serving quality, well-kept ales, both from Greene King and from some fantastic local brewers. With its own microbrewery now becoming a reality, the New Inn truly is a real haven for cask ale fans.”

As part of the introduction of the new microbrewery behind the pub, outside seating for this area is also planned so guests can see the brewery in action. The microbrewery is expected to be completed and brewing by the end of April.

The pub will now compete with two other pubs in Bedfordshire for the regional Pub of the Year title.