Strugglers Inn is Lincoln CAMRA’s top pub

The Lincoln Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale has chosen Lincoln’s Strugglers Inn as their Pub of the Year for 2022.

The competition was divided into two categories, with CAMRA members voting for their favourite city pub and their favourite from the villages in the Branch area. Four judges then visited the top five pubs to assess the quality of the beer, the atmosphere, service and community focus.

Standing in the shadow of Lincoln Castle, the Strugglers Inn is big on character and conversation, and a warm welcome from the staff is assured. The ceilings of the main bar and snug are adorned with pumpclips of beers that have appeared on the bar. There is regular live music on Sunday teatimes. The sunken garden is a hidden gem that came into its own during the Covid restrictions.

This is the latest in a string of awards won by the pub since Anna took over as landlady in 2008. Anna is due to retire at the end of April.

Lincoln CAMRA chairman, Aaron Joyce, said, “The Struggs is a classic community local. And with ten handpumps on the bar, it’s a magnet for real-ale drinkers from near and far. This award is a fitting tribute to all of Anna’s hard work, as she prepares to step away from the pub.”

The Lincoln CAMRA Country Pub of the Year is the Dambusters Inn in Scampton. The other pubs in the final were Lincoln’s Joiners Arms and Tiny Tavern, and the Ripon Arms in Nocton.

The Strugglers Inn now goes forward to the Lincolnshire round of the competition, where it will be up against the winners from the Gainsborough, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Louth, Grantham and Fenland CAMRA Branches.

Beer Festival stays put

Planning for the 2017 Lincoln Beer Festival started last October. And I’m pleased to report that we have lots of local CAMRA members keen to get involved in organising this major event.

One of the first issues we discussed was where to hold the festival. At popular times, customers usually have to queue to get in to the Drill Hall. To ensure the comfort and safety of everyone there, we are not allowed to have more than 500 customers in the venue at any one time. So, once we hit that limit, it’s “one out, one in”. Continue reading “Beer Festival stays put”

Pubs and wellbeing

No doubt there are plenty of Echo readers who are taking part in Dry January. I hope they raise lots of money for their chosen charities and feel better for doing it. However, you may not be surprised to learn that I’m not joining in.

While most studies warn of the health risks of alcohol consumption, new research published in the journal “Adaptive Human Behaviour and Physiology” shows that moderate alcohol consumption with friends at a local pub may be linked to improved wellbeing. Researchers at the University of Oxford have looked at whether having a drink may play a role in improving social cohesion, given its long association with human social activities. Continue reading “Pubs and wellbeing”


Hops – they are one of the key ingredients of beer. And I can’t believe that I haven’t written about them before.

Beer is one of the oldest prepared drinks, dating back thousands of years to when humans first started cultivating cereals. Over the centuries, the biscuity-sweet drink produced by fermenting the dissolved sugars derived from grains has had numerous flavourings added. A wide variety of herbs, flowers and fruits have been used, including dandelion, marigold, heather and dates. Continue reading “HOPS”

A Fishy Business

When it comes to beer, the received wisdom in this country is that crystal clear is good but cloudy is bad. I’ve seen plenty of drinkers hold their pint up to the light and take it back to the bar if it’s a bit hazy.
There are plenty of excellent beers in Belgium and Germany that are intended to be cloudy. So when did our obsession with clarity begin, and what has a fish product to do with it? Continue reading “A Fishy Business”

Bar Billiards

The Joiners Arms nestles among the hillside terraced houses on Victoria Street, off West Parade. From the outside, it is fairly unremarkable. But inside, there is a feature that is unique among Lincoln pubs.

Tucked into one corner is what looks like a small pool table. On closer inspection, you see that there are no side or corner pockets. Instead, there are nine holes in the playing surface itself. No, it’s not an ancient version of the seaside arcade game where a furry rodent pops up through a hole and you have to bash it with a mallet. It’s bar billiards. Continue reading “Bar Billiards”

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