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21st May 2012

Great Western Arms in Aynho named Pub of the Year at Hooky Diamond Awards

The Great Western Arms in Aynho has been named Pub of the Year at the 2012 Hooky Diamond Awards.  Held at Stratford Racecourse on 9th May, and this year honouring the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in its name, the annual award ceremony is designed to celebrate outstanding Hook Norton Brewery tenants.

Great Western Arms’ tenants Rene and Alison Klein also picked up awards for Best Beer Garden and Best Food Pub of the Year.  Also celebrating multiple award wins were Bill and Charmaine Leadbeater of The George Hotel in Brailes, who won Beer and Food Pub and Best Website.

Best New Licensee went to Suzanne Poluczanis at the Cap ‘n’ Gown in Worcester, who was acclaimed by the judges as “someone who has, in a short time, taken a struggling business and made it both successful and a business to be proud of.”  They added: “In an area where price can be seen as the only reason to use a pub, this pub stands out from the crowd.”

Community Pub of the Year was awarded to Ken and Eileen Thompson at the Butchers Arms in Balscote.  Interestingly, 17 of Hook Norton’s pubs are the only pub in the village and many of those are the only business in the community.

The Best Kept Cellar award went to Ian Payne and Annette Hegerty at the Eagle Tavern in Witney, with judge Roger Clayson of Cask Marque commenting that this cellar demonstrated industry leading practices.

The Highest Scoring Cask Marque pub, with 20 out of 20 for every product tested on every visit, was awarded to John Priest of the Fox Hotel in Chipping Norton.

Nick Saul of the Roebuck Inn in Drayton and Simon Finch of the Elephant & Castle in Bloxham were also celebrating after winning Best Kept Exterior and Best Accommodation Pub respectively.

Adrian Staley, Managing Director (Commercial) comments: “It is important that we support and recognise the outstanding achievements and hard work undertaken by our tenants.  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners, and those that were highly commended, and wish them every success for the future.”


– Ends –


Additional information

Full list of the categories and winners:

Best New Licensee:  Suzanne Poluczanis, Cap ‘n’ Gown, Worcester

Beer and Food Pub: Bill and Charmaine Leadbeater, The George Hotel, Brailes

Community Pub of the Year: Ken and Eileen Thompson, Butchers Arms, Balscote,

Best Beer Garden: Rene and Alison Klein, Great Western Arms, Aynho

Best Website: Bill and Charmaine Leadbeater, The George Hotel, Brailes

Best Food Pub of the Year: Rene and Alison Klein, Great Western Arms, Aynho

Best Kept Exterior: Nick Saul, Roebuck Inn, Drayton

Best Kept Cellar: Ian Payne and Annette Hegerty, Eagle Tavern, Witney

Best Accommodation Pub: Simon Finch, Elephant & Castle, Bloxham

Highest Scoring Cask Marque: John Priest, Fox Hotel, Chipping Norton

Pub of the Year: Rene and Alison Klein, Great Western Arms, Aynho


Hook Norton Brewery

Handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills since 1849, Hook Norton remains one of only 32 independent family-run breweries.  With the founder’s great great grandson, James Clarke, still at the helm, Hook Norton continues to offer a wide range of award winning ales, including Old Hooky, Hooky and Hooky Gold.


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For further information or images, please contact:

Katie Dunne or Laura Jones

Elliott Marketing & PR or

01296 714745