The North Cheshire branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) has bestowed three pubs with a prestigious award.
Every year North Cheshire CAMRA selects a Pub and Club of the Year, and this year the title was handed to The Lion, Moulton, recognising its continued commitment to supplying customers with quality beers.
It was also one of three pubs to be named a Local Lockdown Hero by CAMRA members for its service to the community during the pandemic.
The Lion held online quizzes and operated a take away pizza service.
It also went above and beyond to help the Legion next door, supporting the Moulton Food Hub and Belas of Cheshire.
Dol Jones, landlady of The Lion Moulton, said: “The Moulton Food Hub was initiated by Angela Bush and originally located in the out building at the Lion.
“It then moved to the British legion and was run by Angela, Michelle Moloney and Denise Dunbar.
“Many other villagers also volunteered, collecting food from supermarkets, picking up prescriptions, checking up on elderly/isolated villagers.”
Edward Timpson MP added: “Dol and Andy thoroughly deserve their CAMRA Lockdown Hero award.
“Having sampled their hospitality (and ale!), it’s not surprising that they chose to reach out to their local community at a time of real need.
“Congratulations to all the team at The Lion in Moulton!”
The Coachman in Hartford offered deliveries to its customers’ doorsteps and, when restrictions allowed, the team made a concerted effort to help the beleaguered fishermen of the UK who were facing both Brexit and Covid challenges – producing an amazing range of fresh fish meals.
Justin Hyman explained: “You can get lager in a can from any supermarket but you can only get cask conditioned ale from a pub.
“It was important during lockdown to cater for my cask ale customers and to provide an ale delivery service along with our famous Hartford Fryer food service.”
The third pub to be recognised was the Witton Chimes in Northwich, which helped raise financial support to help a family pay for a funeral.
It also organised a successful charity football match and broadcast the popular ‘Chimes TV’ online.
Adam Prestage said: “As a publican it’s my role to serve my community in whatever way I can, and it’s been an absolute honour to be able to do so during lockdown when so many people needed help and support.”
Mike Amesbury MP shared his congratulations.
He said: “Covid was challenging for us all but Justin at The Coachman Inn rose to that challenge.
“Faced with conflicting Government advice, he decided to continue serving his community by delivering decent quality ales to their doors.
“Then he effectively established a fish and chip shop at the pub.
“Part of his thinking was to support beleaguered British fishermen impacted by Brexit and Covid.
“He ensured his business not only survived by thrived under lockdown.
“Today customers can still use the takeaway service or dine in the pub which has developed an extensive fish menu.
“Turning to Adam at the Witton Chimes, what he did for the community during Covid was second to none.
“The pub set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay for the funeral of a man who had worked there as a DJ and organised a fundraising football match for two regulars no longer able to work due to serious illness.
“Adam also made sure key events such as Remembrance Sunday continued to be marked. And he came up with this innovative Witton Chimes online TV.
“At the presentation ceremony another Adam, a regular, told me Adam the landlord had been a lifesaver.
“This Adam had lost his job and felt isolated because of Covid but Adam at the Witton Chimes helped him in his hour of need.”
Andy Edwards, chair of North Cheshire CAMRA, added: “These awards are all about singling out those community pubs that pulled out all the stops to be a hub to help local groups get through, continuing to offer customers old or new great service in the most challenging of times via new methods.”