Real ale pubs named as region's best as guide to the North-East's drinking hotspots is released (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Real ale pubs named as region's best as guide to the North-East's drinking hotspots is released
A NORTH-East town has cemented its reputation as a real ale destination after two of its drinking establishments were named as the best in the region.
On the day that the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) launched its 2014 Good Beer Guide, The Quakerhouse, in Darlington, was named as one of the top 16 pubs in the UK serving real ale, taking the North-East title.
In the club category, Darlington Snooker Club won the regional award for the ninth time in ten years.
The regional win for The Quakerhouse, in Mechanics Yard, off Darlington’s High Row, came as a surprise to co-owner Brian Dourish, who said he was “gobsmacked” to find out they had taken the accolade.
Mr Dourish, who bought The Quakerhouse in 2009 with friend Garry Hewitt, said: “The secret to our success is real ale and lots of it. Last year we had 873 different beers from all around the country and beyond, from 600 different breweries.
“We have a hard core of regulars but we also find there’s a lot of people who come in who have lived in Darlington their whole lives and just stumble in. It’s a hidden gem.”
Fellow winner Darlington Snooker Club has a number of Camra accolades and was named as one of the top four real ale pubs in the UK by Camra in June.
Owner Peter Everett said he was delighted at winning the North-East club award again and that the double win for Darlington was a boost for the town’s real ale scene.
He added: “I think Darlington is unique in the real ale world. I’m ecstatic to win and pleased for The Quakerhouse.
“Competition can only be a good thing and healthy for the town.”
The North-East launch of the latest edition of the real ale bible was held at Durham City’s Olde Elm Tree pub.
Andy Hughes, who also runs real ale pub The John Duck, said: “We have had a good response down there and it is an accolade real privilege to be included in the guide.”
Camra Durham branch secretary John Collinson said : ”We are always trying to promote real ale and the Good Beer Guide is one way of doing that.
“We have done a massive survey of pubs in County Durham and we have found some gems and some that are stuck in time.”