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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Traditional Cumbrian pub nets real ale honour

A village pub used to celebrating big catches has netted a real whopper.

Highland Laddie photo
Landlord and landlady Mark and Karen Messenger

The Highland Laddie at Glasson, west of Carlisle, is renowned among many for the fresh fish served up.

But it is for the quality of its beers that its latest plaudits have been earned.

For the coastal inn – a popular stop-off for people walking Hadrian’s Wall – has been named pub of the season by the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Solway branch, coming tops out of about 150 pubs.

Landlord Mark Messenger takes pride in the real ale he serves up, as well as the salmon caught by himself and other haafnet fishermen in the Solway Firth.

He said: “I’m pleased – how can you put something like that into words?

“I was very surprised and I’m really chuffed for the staff.”

As for what makes the pub special, Mr Messenger has a simple answer.

“It’s the atmosphere and the welcome that the staff give to people”, he explained.

“We have a lot of ale drinkers and we are quite unique because we’re near the Roman Wall.

“We get a lot of walkers in and it seems to work.”

CAMRA is a voluntary organisation that campaigns for consumer rights, real ale and community pubs.

There are about 150 pubs in the Solway catchment area and initially these are whittled down to three or four genuine contenders, before the final decision is made.

The criteria for the winning pub is not set in stone but the crux of the matter is getting the beer right.

Phil Tuer, of the Solway branch of CAMRA, said: “Basically you have to serve lots of good beer – that’s the big thing.

“The Highland Laddie serves lots of good quality beer and we liked the general ambiance of the pub.

“The fact that it’s very much a traditional pub impressed us as well.

“We only have four ‘pubs of the season’ a year so he’s done very well.”

Every pub that is crowned pub of the season is automatically nominated for CAMRA’s pub of the year award.

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