Cheers! Our pubs are the tops

Luton watering holes take prestige titles

Two Luton pubs have been named winner and runner-up for the pub of the year competition for South Bedfordshire.

The Two Brewers and The Bricklayers Arms were chosen from more than 200 hostelries throughout the region. Awards are presented by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to pubs serving the best quality beer and with the best atmosphere and amenities.

A third Luton pub, The English Rose in Old Bedford Road, has already been named Most Improved Pub of the Year.

Raoul Diggle and his team at The Two Brewers in Dumfries Street, took the award after being runner-up twice. Campaign for Real Ale adjudicators described it as a friendly street corner pub, offering up to six real ales.

It also offers a mild beer, which is a rarity, with a quarterly "gentlemen's curry club", a darts team and quiz night. Raoul said: "I've tried to keep beers changing from week to week."

At The Bricklayers Arms, in Hightown Road, this year's runner-up, the Camra judges say landlady Alison Taylor runs a friendly, unpretentious town pub, normally offering five real ales. One beer, the Goalden Hatter, brewed to back the Luton Town supporters club, is particularly popular on matchdays. South Bedfordshire CAMRA branch holds two beer festivals each year, with one in Luton in November and one in Dunstable at Easter.