Lincoln CAMRA’s top pub, the Dog and Bone on John Street, has gone one better, with the award of Lincolnshire Pub of the Year for 2014. Judges from the Campaign for Real Ale visited the winning pubs from each of the CAMRA branches in the county and assessed the quality of the beer, the atmosphere, service, community focus and value for money.
The other pubs is the competition were:
- Half Moon, Willingham by Stow.
- Malt Shovel, Scunthorpe.
- Nobody Inn, Grantham.
- Brown Cow, Louth.
- Nottingham House, Cleethorpes.
Lincoln CAMRA secretary, Steve Renshaw, said, “I recently described the Dog and Bone as Lincoln’s best kept secret but, with these awards, landlords Chris and Sarah Sorrell are now getting the recognition they deserve.”
One of the changes Chris and Sarah made since taking over the pub in February 2013 was to convert an outside storage shed into a cosy drinking area. The Kennel, as it is called, can be used for private functions or by community groups. Activities based at the pub include a walking group, jam sessions, art exhibitions and cook-offs. And, recently, a craft and chat group has started. Members meet on a monthly basis to discuss ideas and share techniques. So far, they have covered sewing machines, brooch making and felt making; the next session will involve tie-dying.
The Dog and Bone now goes forward to the East Midlands round of the competition, where it will be up against the best pubs from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The 2014 edition of CAMRA’s “Good Beer Guide” sees the 30th consecutive
appearance of Lincoln’s Victoria. The local CAMRA branch has presented a
certificate to the pub to mark the achievement.
Nestling in the shadow of the castle walls, the Vic has two small rooms and
a heated outdoor seating area. Batemans XB, Yella Belly Gold and Castle
Rock Harvest Pale are regular beers, along with up to four guests plus a
real cider and a perry.
Tony Eastwood, founder of drinks wholesaler Small Beer Ltd, bought the
Victoria from Whitbread and, after extensive structural work, it reopened in
December 1983. As a free house, it was an instant hit with the growing
number of real-ale enthusiasts in Lincoln, and it was included in the “Good
Beer Guide” for the first time in the 1985 edition.
In 1998, when Small Beer decided to concentrate on the wholesaling side of
the business, they sold their three pubs to the Tynemill pub group.
Tynemill was founded in 1977 by former CAMRA national chairman Chris Holmes,
who went on to set up Castle Rock Brewery. In 2007, the Vic was transferred
to Batemans in a deal that saw Nottingham’s Lincolnshire Poacher move to
Throughout all the changes of ownership, the beer quality has remained high.
This is thanks to the efforts of manager and cellar keeper, Neil Renshaw,
who has worked at the pub for 25 years.
The Dog and Bone on John Street has been selected as the Lincoln CAMRA Branch Pub of the Year for 2014. The selection process started with a vote by local CAMRA members. Then five judges visited the pubs that topped the poll to assess the quality of the beer, the atmosphere, service, community focus and value for money. The other finalists were Lincoln’s Strugglers Inn and Jolly Brewer, and the Dambusters Inn at Scampton.
The Dog and Bone is a hidden gem among the old terraced houses off Monks Road. It is a thriving community local run, since February 2013, by enthusiastic husband and wife team, Chris and Sarah Sorrell. Above the bar is a collection of old valve radios and paraphernalia that always sparks discussion, and the pub’s board games are popular and well-used. The walls display works from local artists, and the wonderful garden is an oasis of calm. On the bar are five real ales and two handpull ciders. The pub belongs to Batemans so beers from this long-established, Lincolnshire family brewery feature, along with interesting guest ales.
Lincoln CAMRA chairman, Aaron Joyce, said, “To win Pub of the Year after just twelve months in charge is a fantastic achievement by Chris and Sarah. They’ve taken this great little community pub up to another level.”
The Dog and Bone 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 branches.