The Society for The Preservation of Beers from the Wood

WELCOME TO THE S.P.B.W. WEBSITE
For information about beers from the wood

LONDON PUB OF THE YEAR - PAST WINNERS


Express tavern

1980

Express Tavern, Brentford

On Kew Bridge Road on the east side of Brentford, standing opposite Kew Bridge this pub hardly seems to have changed since it won the first of these awards. A three room pub, including a separate public bar, very rare in London these days. Back in 1980 Draught Bass and Youngs Ordinary were the beers on tap, as they still are today, along with a guest ale or two. Very much a quiet retreat from the busy main road outside and a pub out of the old school. The SPBW mirror presented in 1980 remains just inside the doorway to the saloon bar.

WEBSITE





Cross Keys

1981

Cross Keys, Hammersmith

Like the previous year’s winner, this one was nominated by Campden Hill branch. This was, and remains, a Fullers pub in Black Lion Lane between King Street and the Great West Road. Nowadays the pub has two smallish drinking areas around the bar counter and a larger room to the rear which ‘boasts’ big-screen tv. The pub has really lost much of its character and charm over the years.

WEBSITE





Royal Oak

1982

Royal Oak, Romford

No longer a pub - a traffic roundabout!
For several years this was the regular meeting place for Wantz branch. In its original incarnation this had one very small bar and a much larger one before it was knocked through into one large room. Despite this, the pub retained its character as a friendly community pub. The Royal Oak was a Charrington house offering IPA and one or two others from that stable; not very exciting in retrospect but the beers were always served in good condition and beers from non-Big 6 brewers were unknown in Romford at the time. Sadly, even when the award was presented, the pub’s days were numbered. A new ring road was in the advanced stage of planning and the Royal Oak, along with adjacent housing, would be swept aside to make way; the last pints were drawn in 1985.

PICTURE REFERENCE:
http://www.romford.org/pubs-clubs/royal-oak/royal-oak.htm



King's Arms

1983

Kings Arms, Waterloo

This was presumably nominated by Special Branch whose meeting place, the Rose & Crown, was just a couple of hundred yards down the road. The KA was a cosy two room pub in Roupell Street, a quiet back road of terraced housing close by Waterloo Station. It was run by a friendly couple who took great pride in the place, not least the extensive collection of spirits miniatures which lined the walls. The Kings Arms was owned by Allied Breweries and at the time had been badged under the Taylor Walker banner, serving two or three Allied brews. John and Mary moved on a few years later and these days the beer range is extended a little.

WEBSITE



The Star Tavern

1984

Star Tavern, Belgravia

This is one of the best known pubs among London beer aficionados, and one of only two in the capital to have appeared in every edition of the Good Beer Guide. Back in the mid-1970s very few Fullers houses offered non-dustbin beers and the Star was the only one of them in central London. Hence it was an essential place to visit for the London Pride and ESB. The pub has barely changed since other than to reflect the increased range of Chiswick ales. As you go through the front door, look immediately to the wall on the left for the SPBW mirror presented in 1984. The bar area is to the right but the main action is in the large room on the left. The pub is tucked away in Belgrave Mews West, just off Belgrave Square and not at all easy to find, but very much worth the effort.

WEBSITE



Fish and Ring

1985

Fish & Ring, Stepney

Another Wantz nomination and another now defunct pub. This was a two roomed free house which offered unusual for London beers such as Thwaites and Davenports. I can’t really remember much about the place other than that it was a friendly oasis for good beer in an east London back street.









Ye Olde Leather Bottle

1986

Ye Olde Leather Bottle, Belvedere

Nominated by Woolwich branch, this is surely the least distinguished of all past winners. It was a Courage house in an almost rural area of this south eastern suburb. The only time I ever visited was for the presentation and it didn’t make a lasting impression. This pub is the only LPotY winner that has never appeared in the Good Beer Guide.

PICTURE REFERENCE:
http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/kent/pics/belvedere_leatherbottle.jpg





1987

NO AWARD

(Why no 1987 award? Actually there was just a short slippage; the ’86 award was done in December that year and judging for the next competition was in late ’87 and early ’88.)



The Spanish Galleon

1988

Spanish Galleon, Greenwich

Again courtesy of Woolwich branch and another fairly unremarkable pub (my opinion!). I was on the pub judging panel this year and I thought this was nowhere the best pub on the list. At the time this was a Courage pub although it has since been acquired by Shepherd Neame. It’s a fairly spacious pub on a busy street corner, handy for the Cutty Sark and other Greenwich attractions. But if you’re in Greenwich, the Dog & Bell is only 10 minutes walk away!

WEBSITE




1989-2002

NO AWARD

After 1988 there was a marked lack of enthusiasm for anyone to organise another competition and it drifted into (temporary) oblivion until we were persuaded to bring it back to life in the new Millennium.



Dog & Bell

2002

Dog & Bell, Prince St, London, SE8 3JD

The Dog & Bell is an excellent free house always featuring Fullers London Pride and ESB and three interesting and well kept guest beers from small breweries. Food is good and the range of bottled continental beers (especially) Belgium is excellent. Add in a friendly warm welcome, separate bars including quiet areas, a warm fire, bar billiards and a fish tank and you can see why this fine establishment won.







Wenlock ARms

2003

Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

The Wenlock Arms is a genuine traditional back street local which was rescued from obscurity when beer lovers Steve and Will took it over in 1994. Over the next 18 years the Wenlock built up a reputation as one of London's premier pubs in terms of beer choice, attracting a clientele of regulars from the neighbourhood as well as beer lovers from further afield. Will and Steve sold the pub in 2012 and, after a brief closure for much-needed refurbishment, it reopened in June 2013. Nowadays it serves up to 10 hand pumped beers (as well as a few 'real' ciders) and it is one of the few London pubs where you can always get a pint of mild. More information about the pub can be found at their WEBSITE.



Royal Oak

2004

Royal Oak, Tabard Street, London SE1 4JU

This outpost of the Harveys tied estate (since 1997) is very popular with discerning beer drinkers and rightly so. But the excellence of the beer range, the wonderful atmosphere of a two bar pub free of gimmicks, the friendly welcome and service - oh, and the food's superb as well - make this a worthy winner. If you've not visited yet, you're missing something special.





Dog & Bell

2005

Dog & Bell, Prince St, London, SE8 3JD

The Dog & Bell is an excellent free house always featuring Fullers London Pride and ESB and three interesting and well kept guest beers from small breweries. Food is good and the range of bottled continental beers (especially) Belgium is excellent. Add in a friendly warm welcome, separate bars including quiet areas, a warm fire, bar billiards and a fish tank and you can see why this fine establishment won.






Royal Oak

2006

Royal Oak, Tabard Street, London SE1 4JU

The winner for the 2nd time in 2 years (the winning pub is not allowed to enter the next year's competition), was the Royal Oak. This is a very friendly Harveys (of Lewes) house. The landlord Frank always gives his customers a warm welcome. The 2 room traditional back street local, serves a full range of Harveys beers, Best, Pale, Mild and a seasonal guest, which varies from the strong special winter ales to the Knots of May light mild. All of these are always in tip-top fettle. The menu is comprehensive, and the portions are large at reasonable prices. Halibut, rabbit, roast lamb and various pies and casseroles are usually available



Pembury Tavern

2007

The Pembury Tavern, 90 Amhurst Rd E8 1JH

The Pembury Tavern was originally built between 1840 and 1870 and has previously been owned by the likes of Truman and Banks & Taylor. The pub was closed after a fire in 1990s then bought by the Individual Pub Company and reopened in January 2006. The public's long bar counter boasts 16 handpumps, although not all these are always in use. The pub held its first beer festival 15 - 19 November, and will be handy for those visiting the Pigs Ear festival in early December. Find out more about the Pembury at their WEBSITE.






The Harp

2008

The Harp, Covent Garden

The Harp is a former Charrington house known as the Welsh Harp until it was ‘denationalised’ a few years back. It’s a fairly small, one-room pub (with a former no-smoking room upstairs, it does tend to get very crowded. Have no fear about getting served, the Harp can boast the most efficient and friendly (all female) bar staff I know of. What they will serve you might be one of the regular ales: Taylor’s Landlord, Black Sheep bitter and Harvey’s Best or one of three guests; To wash down the beers the pub offers a selection of premium quality, fresh, locally sourced, gourmet award winning sausages. More information at their WEBSITE.






Dog and Bell

2009

Dog & Bell, Prince St, London, SE8 3JD

Another turn for the Dog & Bell. An excellent free house always featuring Fullers London Pride and ESB and three interesting and well kept guest beers from small breweries. Food is good and the range of bottled continental beers (especially) Belgium is excellent. Add in a friendly warm welcome, separate bars including quiet areas, a warm fire, bar billiards and a fish tank and you can see why this fine establishment won.





Pembury Tavern

2010

The Pembury Tavern, 90 Amhurst Rd E8 1JH

Three years on and the Pembury Tavern wins another LPOTY award. The public's long bar counter boasts 16 handpumps, although not all these are always in use. The pub will be handy for those visiting the Pigs Ear Festival. Find out more about the Pembury at their WEBSITE.








Dog and Bell

2011

Dog & Bell, Prince St, London, SE8 3JD

Following the mandatory one year interlude the Dog and Bell makes it into the books once again. This has to say something for the consistancy of food and ales, plus ambience and all the other items that go into making a bar great.






The Royal Oak

2012

The Royal Oak, Tabard Street, London SE1 4JU

See the entry for 2006 - the pub's as good as ever!











Ye Olde Mitre

2013

Ye Olde Mitre, Ely Place Lane, EC1

This is a genuine historic pub, hidden away in a narrow passageway between Hatton Garden and Ely Place. It has two cosy, wood-panelled bars and a tiny snug to one side as well as an upstairs function room. The pub is known for its friendly and welcoming service, and the high quality of its beer. It is a warm cosy hostelry in every sense and is a worthy winner of our 2013 award.

WEBSITE















Eleanor Arms

2014

Eleanor Arms, 460 Old Ford Road, Bow, London, E3 5JP

The Eleanor Arms is a traditional style public house dating back to 1879.

WEBSITE












Blythe Hill Tavern

2015

Blythe Hill Tavern, 319 Stanstead Road, SE23 1JB;

The Blythe Hill Tavern is a community pub par excellence. The pub is neatly split in to 3 distinct drinking areas, there's a spacious patio outside and an equally substantial function room upstairs. TVs show sporting events and there are regular quiz nights and occasional live music as well. No food here but cider drinkers are well catered for, with 3 or 4 selections on draught.

WEBSITE









The Hope

2016

The Hope, 48 West Street, Carshalton SM5 2PR.
Tel: 020 8240 1255
Email: admin@hopecarshalton.co.uk

The Hope is a mock-half-timbered former Charrington pub, recently threatened with closure, but now owned by a consortium of locals, including a few SPBW members. Itís a genuine traditional, community pub offering 7 draught beers in all - Downton New Forest and Windsor & Eton Guardsman are regulars and there is nice varied selection of guest beers. The absence of background music means that the buzz of conversation creates the atmosphere. Very close to Carshalton rail station and handy for Carshalton Athletic FC.

WEBSITE




The Chesham Arms

2016

The Chesham Arms, 15 Mehetabel Road, E9 6DU.
Tel: 020 8986 6717
Email: joe@cheshamarms.com

TheChesham Arms, nominated by Wantz branch, is a genuine traditional, community pub which had been threatenedwith closure and conversion to residential use. Following a sustained campaignby local residents and CAMRAís East London and City branch the pub was savedand reopened in July 2015. It has since proved to be highly popular with localsand beer lovers from further afield. As well as its selection of real ales - usually 4 from small breweries - theChesham Arms also offers high quality lagers and ciders.

WEBSITE