Village pub near Banbury 'surprised and delighted' to be north Oxfordshire's CAMRA 'Pub of the Year'

A village pub near Banbury has been named the Campaign For Ale (CAMRA) ‘Pub of the Year’ in north Oxfordshire.
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The Butchers Arms in Balscote defeated five other finalists from the region earlier this month after being voted by CAMRA members as having the best quality beer, the best selection of beers and ales, and most knowledgeable staff.

The grade II-listed pub has been a Hook Norton Brewery Pub since 1878, it still has the original ice house in the garden, and is only one of two Hooky pubs that serve ales straight from the cask (gravity drawn) at the back of the bar and not through a line from the cellar.

Landlady at the pub Kate Smith said: "We were surprised and delighted as it was totally unexpected. We took over the pub three and a half years ago and can’t thank everyone enough for all of their support, especially Hook Norton Brewery."

The Butchers Arms in Balscote were delighted to be given the award.The Butchers Arms in Balscote were delighted to be given the award.
The Butchers Arms in Balscote were delighted to be given the award.

A spokesperson for CAMRA North Oxfordshire said: "We had fantastic feedback from the branch members who took part in the voting this year. Everybody received a friendly welcome, and a great pint of beer, in all of the shortlisted pubs. The final tally was close, but ultimately The Butchers Arms deservedly took the top spot.

"Thank you to everybody who took part: the teams at all of the short-listed pubs, all of the committee who organised the competition, and of course all of the branch members who visited the pubs and cast their vote."

To celebrate, the pub is organising a summer event where the Hooky dray horses and Land Rover will be on display alongside the award at the pub.