A brewpub located in a 16th century shopfront, within the shadow of Tamworth’s historic Norman castle, has been named the Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub of the Year.
The Tamworth Tap went from empty premises to an iconic brewpub in less than five years. It boasts eight handpulls, including at least one Tamworth ale brewed on site. A ‘CAMRA corner’ at the bottom of the stairs includes a rare complete set of Good Beer Guides.
Themed events regularly take place, including beer tastings and ‘paint and sip’ sessions. A courtyard features regular live music with local performers, bat watch evenings, and the occasional screening of cult films on a large screen. The in-house Tap Times lists local happenings and forthcoming events.
The judges described their visits as “an absolutely delightful experience” with knowledgeable staff, a friendly atmosphere, attractive décor, and a great selection of cask ales and real ciders.
Owners George and Louise Greenaway said: “We can’t express how much this accolade means to us. CAMRA values have been at the core of everything we have done since we opened our doors, so we’re absolutely thrilled to have won this year’s competition!
“Pubs are its people, and we are surrounded by the best. We’d like to give a special mention to our amazing customers, affectionately known as ‘Tappers’, and to the truly terrific Team Tap, who make it all possible!”
John Rowling, pubs officer with the Lichfield, Sutton, and Tamworth branch of CAMRA, said: “I’m absolutely elated at this fantastic news that the Tamworth Tap has won the coveted top award. For real ale drinkers, the Tamworth Tap is the jewel in Tamworth’s crown.
“Since it opened five years ago, The Tap has gone from strength to strength. There’s always new offerings, changes, and innovations every time you visit. It has beer brewed on the premises, fantastic, knowledgeable staff, and comfortable old-world décor. Add to this an award-winning rustic outdoor drinking area, overlooked by Tamworth Castle, and you have a pub catering to all tastes.
“It’s a friendly, welcoming venue, serving ever-changing top-quality real ales. To go from empty premises to this iconic brewpub in such a short time is real testament to the hard work put in by owners George, Louise, and their staff. This top award is fully merited for a pub that espouses all the aims of CAMRA.
“It is the pinnacle of achievements to be voted CAMRA’s national Pub of the Year, so on behalf of the customers and the local branch I congratulate George and Louise on their tremendous success.”
Pubs in the competition are selected by CAMRA volunteers and judged on their atmosphere, décor, welcome, service, community focus, and the quality of the beer. Runners-up in the competition are the Station House in Durham, the Horse and Jockey in Stapleford, and the King’s Head in Norwich.
Awards director, Laura Emson, said: “The Tamworth Tap shows what passion and creativity can achieve in a short space of time, with great beer backing up a wide range of activities in a friendly atmosphere.
“A pub doesn’t have to be a national award winner to be a vital part of a local community, and following a tough few years for the industry, our support is needed more than ever.
“Using CAMRA’s WhatPub website you can find a new pub to try, and meet with friends. Check out your local branch’s social calendar for inspiration, and CAMRA members — don’t forget to add your beer scores via WhatPub too!”