WEST DORSET publicans Tracey and Steve Brady know what it takes to pull a perfect pint. The couple who run The Marquis of Lorne at Nettlecombe have won Palmers Brewery’s first Master Cellarman of the Year award.All Palmers Brewery’s 55 pubs were put through a tough series of assessments and checks over the course of a year to ensure customers get to enjoy cask ales at their very best.A delighted Tracey Brady said that keeping a good cellar was a matter of hard work and commitment.‘Obviously we have a really good quality product in the first place, but it is about keeping the beer under the correct conditions, with clean lines and keeping the beer flowing,’ she said.‘We serve the beer in clean glasses, in a pleasant bar environment and treat it with respect.That is why people come to a pub, to get a perfect, consistent pint.’
In joint second place were John and Geraldine Baker of The Ropemakers in Bridport and Simon Warry and Rachael Hampson at The Crown Inn on West Bay Road, Bridport.Publicans had to achieve a mark of 45 or above out of 50 in three rounds of judging which looked at all aspects of keeping and serving the cask ales.Palmers’ Head Brewer Darren Batten said: ‘ We are finding that our real ale drinkers expect more flavour, quality and above all consistency from their pint these days. We have invested a lot in our cellars over the past few years and these awards were set up to show all our licensees and key staff how to use the equipment and how to give the customer the best possible experience when they order a pint of our cask ale, every time.’Jayson Perfect, Tenanted Trade Director, commented: ‘We have found our licensees have really embraced the idea and competitive nature of the competition. We are extremely proud of our beer and we want every one of our licensees to feel the same.‘Congratulations to all those that achieved their Master Cellarman status. All of us at the Brewery are extremely proud of their achievement.’ Pubs awarded a Palmers Cellar Award certificate in the 2014 awards were: Bicknoller Inn, near Taunton; Bridport Arms, West Bay; Cobb Arms, Lyme Regis; Greyhound Inn, Beaminster; Hare & Hounds, Waytown; Market House, Bridport; New Inn, Cerne Abbas; New Inn, Eype; New Inn, Shipton Gorge; Phelips Arms, Montacute; Pilot Boat, Lyme Regis; Rose & Crown, East Lambrook; Swan’s Nest, Exminster; Three Horseshoes, Burton Bradstock; Three Horseshoes, Powerstock; The West Bay, West Bay.