2021 Pub of the Year – How Exciting

Before I start on this post, I’ll mention clearly that I accept that this isn’t yet an internationally recognised award…. Unfortunately. Anyway, maybe one day  🙂   Since I’m no longer going to the beer festival in Barcelona to see any of their bars, it’s time for this exciting annual event now.

The winner in 2019, the Hop & Vine in Hull, and in 2020 it was Goose Island in Shoreditch, London. I’m delighted that I’ve visited both of these venues numerous times in 2021, and Tony is still doing a marvellous job, as is Daniel at Goose Island.

There have been no end of excellent pubs and bars which have surprised and delighted me.

WHALEBONE, HULL – A pub in an industrial part of Hull that from the outside just appears to be a standard venue for locals, but inside was an exceptional welcome, an Untappd screen and a superb choice of keg and cask beers.

COLMORE, BIRMINGHAM – A Thornbridge pub in a beautiful former bank building in Birmingham, friendly staff and a wide range of beers from the brewery. Rather lovely pizzas and well kept beer.

MARINE, EASTBOURNE – My turning up with 16 people without booking didn’t phase this pub, with engaging staff and excellent food served promptly. Reasonably priced and an authentic welcome.

LEOPARD, NORWICH – My absolute favourite pub in Norwich, with some decadent beers, always a warm welcome and a comfortable and cosy environment.

THE TWO TAILED LION, LEICESTER – A micropub with a personable barman who merrily chatted away, with an excellent knowledge of beers and there was a decent choice for such a small venue.

TOWN MOUSE, NEWCASTLE – Recommended by Tony from the Hop & Vine, this was a marvellous cellar bar with a friendly welcome, knowledgeable staff and a personable manager.

But, excellent as all these pubs were, I’ve decided on my very favourite. Which is…. (I can sense the anticipation my three readers must be feeling now)

DRUGIE DNO OCHOTA, WARSAW

This really wonderful bar in Warsaw has all the essentials that it needs, a clean environment, rather lovely food in the form of pizzas, a well curated selection of beers across numerous styles (their small but perfectly formed beer menu is at https://drugie-dno-ochota.ontap.pl/). However, it also had some of the most personable staff members that I’ve come across this year. The welcome was immediate and the staff member couldn’t have been more engaging and warm, but he also made a suitably decadent pizza.

Given also that I’m English and this bar is in Poland, the staff still were enthusiastic and keen to help so my clunky Polish didn’t need to be used at all. I didn’t have chance to visit several times to check that I still liked this bar, but I’m pretty confident that it’ll remain as a stand-out venue and hopefully I’ll be back in the next few months.

How very lovely.