The Palmers Wine Pub of the Year Award recognises licensees who have shown the greatest innovation and commitment to developing their wine offer selected from Palmers estate of 55 pubs and inns.
Two Bridport pubs have been recognised for their wine sales. The George Hotel in Bridport has been declared as winner of the inaugural Palmers Brewery Wine Pub of the Year and the Ropemakers, Bridport are runners-up.
Judging the award, Palmers Tenanted Trade Director, Jayson Perfect said: ‘A pub’s wine offer is now at the centre of any successful pub business. Whether customers are popping out for a social drink, a light lunch or longer dinner they look forward to being presented with a wine selection that is both appealing and value for money; and they anticipate that staff will be knowledgeable and confident about discussing wine.‘We received some exceptional entries from our licensees and I am delighted that our winner and runner-up, although near neighbours, come from two very different pubs.
The George is a fantastic example of a modern town centre premises that have developed their wine sales in conjunction with an excellent food offer whilst retaining a reputation as a cosmopolitan watering hole where you can pass an evening will a glass of wine, refreshing cider or a few pints of real ale. The Ropemakers has always been a drinking led pub, who have used wine based events and promotions to attract new customers and to engage with wine drinkers.’
Julian Dove and Annette Beardsmore, who took over as licensees of the George Hotel Bridport in November 2013 said ‘we are delighted to have won the first Palmers Wine Pub of the Year competition. As a team we have worked hard at growing and developing our wine sales alongside our food over the last 18 months.‘We make sure that our wine list is always good value for money and all of us are on hand to offer friendly advice. Our Tuesday steak night is always busy, two rib-eyes and a bottle of wine for £40 with many people choosing to trade-up to something else off the wine list. On Mondays and Thursdays we offer a free cheese board with every bottle of wine. We also run dinners and events throughout the year which encourage people to explore the wines we have on offer.’
John & Geraldine Baker, licensees of the Ropemakers said ‘we are very pleased that the Ropemakers has been recognised in the Wine Pub of the Year competition. Most of our staff have completed the Palmers Wine Appreciation course, off the back of this experience we completely revamped our wine list and our customers are really enjoying the new choices.
‘The results speak for themselves, our wine sales have doubled and amazingly we currently sell more wine in the Ropemakers than lager. Customers love our monthly wine and cheese evenings where they can buy a selection of wines by the glass that have been matched to the cheeses of the evening. “Winedown Wednesday” when we offer 10% off our house wines is also proving very popular. We recently expanded our evening food menu for the summer and the feedback has been very positive, we are looking forward to launching a new wine list to accompany this.’