Staff and regulars at a South Tyneside pub are ale and hearty after it was named the best boozer in the whole of the North East region.
Success is nothing new to The Steamboat pub at the Mill Dam in South Shields.
It has landed the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Sunderland and South Tyneside ‘Pub of the Year’ award on no less than four previous occasions.
But now the bar, long championed by real ale lovers, has surpassed itself after CAMRA declared it to the best in the region – and among the top 16 in the whole of the UK.
Now the watering hole is to be entered into a ‘super-region’ competition which could eventually see the ale house named the best boozer in the country.
It’s a triumph for pub landlord Joe Mooney, his trusted bar manager Kathleen Brain and eight loyal staff members.
In the 2016 Good Beer Guide, published by CAMRA today, the pub is hailed for being “full of character and atmosphere”.
The guide goes on to say: “Offering an impressive range of beers from independent and microbrewers on eight handpumps plus a real cider, the Steamboat is a regular local CAMRA Pub of the Year winner. A pub full of character and atmosphere, run by friendly staff, it has a large bar with a raised seating area and a small lounge.
“The South Shields ferry and Custom House theatre are nearby. Beer festivals, cheese and ale and Meet the Brewer nights are arranged on a regular basis.”
The praise is music to the ears of bar manager Kath, who said: “I think in many ways this achievement is not only down to the range and quality of beers we sell but to the staff.
“This is a community pub and we all work as a team, we all get on and enjoy coming in to work. It’s like being part of a family and that’s reflected in the service we provide to the customers.”
Joe added: “We’re delighted. It’s a credit to the staff and our customers, we respond to what they need. If they want a particular beer we try and get it for them.”
The Good Beer Guide’s editor, Roger Protz, said: “Being named in the Top 16 in Britain is something these pubs should be hugely proud of and is testament to how hard each of the pubs work to get this far, winning their local and now regional pub award.
“The next step for all of these pubs is to be judged against each other in the National Pub of the Year competition, which will see one of the 16 crowned as the best pub in the whole country.”