Raise a glass to best county pub

The Alexandra Arms
The Alexandra Arms

A PUB is proving that it has success on tap after being named the best in the county for the third time.

The Alexandra Arms, in Victoria Street, Kettering, has been named pub of the year in 2011 by the Northamptonshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

It is the third time the pub’s staff have tasted success after scooping 2011’s prize.

It previously won the prestigious award in 2005 and 2007.

Pub manager Ivan Thornley said: “We’re over the moon.

“Serving an excellent pint of cask ale is really important to us.

“We’ve made it our priority to make sure we offer a great selection on the bar and get the quality right every time. This makes all our hard work worthwhile.”

The pub has a large range of 14 real ales on tap, as well as a selection of Marston’s Brews.

The pub also stocks independent brewers’ ales, with Julian Church ales brewed in its cellar.

The CAMRA judges said that the pub stood out from others in the region because of its outstanding welcome and friendly customer service.

They also commend the range of ales on tap.

Landlady Lorraine Thornley said: “We were absolutely delighted to hear that we had won.

“We’ve won it twice before and have also finished runner-up a few times, but it was still brilliant to find out.

“We stock a lot of real ale, and my husband Ivan, the manager, puts a lot of hard work into it, but the ales prove popular, especially Julian Church.

“We stock a lot of independent brewers’ drinks.

“The staff at the pub are brilliant as well, they give people a warm welcome and have played their part in the pub’s success.”

The pub’s management picked up their award last week, and it will go alongside their other two prizes which are proudly displayed on the wall.

Leon Rodgers, business development manager at Marston’s, said: “There aren’t that many pubs around that serve between 12 and 14 hand pulls on the bar at any one time.

“Knowing how to serve ale is a real skill, serving that many in such fantastic condition day after day is nothing short of a miracle.

“They richly deserve this title.”