Pub of the Year 2020

The votes are in and counted, we're delighted to announce the results of the 2020 Pub of the Year Competition.

2020 Overall Pub of the Year: The Black Buoy, Wivenhoe

Town Pub of the Year: 

  • Winner: The Ale House
  • Runner-Up: Live and Let Live, Stanway
  • Highly Commended: The Odd One Out

Rural Pub of the Year:

  • Winner: Black Buoy, Wivenhoe
  • Runner-Up: Ye Olde Albion, Rowhedge
  • Highly Commended: The Horse and Groom, Wivenhoe

The competition is voted for by branch members and all the pubs in our branch area, which stretches from Halstead in the West to Colchester in the East and from the Suffolk border down to The Tolleshunts, are eligible.

Pub of the Year is our flagship award and is highly valued by its winners. Our overall victor goes on to represent the branch in the Essex Pub of the Year Award and could ultimately become the CAMRA National Pub of the Year. Congratulations to all the pubs who have achieved an award, the competition was very very close this year and demonstrates the number of quality of pubs in our branch area.

The award is split into Town and Rural categories, with the top three in each category being awarded a title. The top pubs from Town and Rural go head-to-head on beer scores to decide the Overall winner. Beer scores can be submitted by any CAMRA member throughout the year and indicate the quality and availability of real ale in a pub.

The Black Buoy  has been a perennial winner of the Rural Pub of the Year title for several years but this time goes one better to clinch the overall title. The Black Buoy will now go onto the Essex round of the Pub of the Year competition. This community pub, saved from closure by its local community, goes from strength to strength. Run by Shane with a team of local staff the pub runs a number of very popular beer festivals during the year.

The Ale House, run by Pauline and Fred leaps up from 3rd last year to take the Town Pub of the Year for the first time. Doing exactly what it says on the tin the Ale House keeps a wide range of Real Ales flowing along with Real Cider. They also have one of the few bar billiards tables in Colchester!

Taking second place with their 3rd award in a row, The Live and Let Live continues to cement its place on the Real Ale scene; Pete and Geraldine’s continued efforts are again rewarded with runner-up spot. The pub’s Beer and Sausage festivals are a highlight of the year here -  and there’s one on this weekend.

The Odd One Out takes 3rd place in the town category. A previous multiple-Pub Of The Year-winner, this is the pub’s first award since long standing landlord John passed the baton over to Colchester Brewery.

Another regular award winner in Rowhedge is the Ye Olde Albion where Simon keeps a wide range of Real Ales on hand. This is the 7th year running in which Ye Albion has claimed the runners up spot.

Wivenhoe boasts a second award winning pub in the Horse and Groom. This Adnams tied house has been in the Good Beer Guide for over 30 years.