10:00am Friday 17th February 2012
By James Tourgout
LANDLORDS Graham and Jacqueline Taylor toasted their customers after their Bridport pub scooped a top award.
They praised their staff and regulars after the Tiger Inn in Barrack Street won the Campaign for Real Ale’s West Dorset Town Pub of the Year.
Richard Gabe, from West Dorset CAMRA, presented Graham and Jacqueline with the certificate at the recent Dorchester Beer Festival.
CAMRA members nominated their favourite pub before a panel judges went around to inspect the finalists.
Landlord Graham said: “We had no idea at all. The phone call to say we had won came completely out of the blue.
“The award carries more clout because it is nominated by the customers.
“The judges also said that the pub always seems busy which is quite a nice thing.”
He added: “It goes to show that it is not all doom and gloom in the pub trade. There’s always room for a good beer and good pubs.”
The Tiger has made its name as a community pub with its real ales changed every week.
It shows rugby matches but also has nine skittles teams and seven darts teams.
Graham said trade had taken off since they stopped serving food and concentrated on the drinks and community side of the business.
He paid tribute to the regulars for making the Tiger a roaring success.
“It is down to the people that come here. It is the customers that make the pub not the people that run it.
“It is their pub. We are just the custodians.
“It would be a pretty quiet place without them.
“I think they like the fact that Jacqui and I are here most of the time.
He added: “It is lovely to have customers vote for us. We have never won anything like this before.”
The West Dorset CAMRA branch named two Pubs of the Year. Usually there is only one, but it became impossible to choose between the two final shortlisted pubs. So they named both a Rural and a Town Pub of the Year.
The rural pub of the year went to the King’s Arms at Thornford.
West Dorset members will have to decide which pub goes forward to the Wessex Regional Pub of the Year competition.
It will be judged against ten other pubs from East Dorset, Hampshire, parts of Somerset and Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.
Londoners Graham and Jacqueline Taylor have been in the licensed trade for 22 years and bought the Tiger Inn five years ago.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group