Great British Booze Off finalists unveiled – vote for your favourite pubs now

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If you haven't visited a pub since they started reopening back in April, it's about time you did.

The first wave of boozers began opening their doors on April 12, serving groups of no more than six people or two households in outdoor spaces only.

Around that time, we set out to find the UK's best drinking establishments as part of the Daily Star's Great British Booze Off competition.

We asked you to nominate your favourite pubs in 10 different categories – and boy, did you deliver?

Hundreds of you got in touch, telling us why your local should be crowned one of Blighty's best boozers.

We whittled down the entries, drawing up a shortlist for each category. Now, you need to pick your winners.

It's simple – just mark your favourites on the form below.

And scroll down to find out a bit more about the pubs in the running. Cheers!

Best Pub (Overall)

Frosty's Bar, Kenton, London

A Celtic pub in north west London, Frosty's boasts a beer garden and totally centres around sports.

It's not just rugby and football, as staff remain true to the boozer's Irish heritage by catering to GAA fans too.

Frosty's punters hail the "unbeatable atmosphere" at the Kenton venue, which has a big screen TV out in its beer garden for summer sports competitions.

The Holmefield Arms, Whitwell, Worksop

Not only is The Holmefield Arms beloved by its punters, it's been praised for the work it does in the wider community.

Despite lockdown being one the toughest challenges the industry has ever faced, this pub pitched in to support elderly and vulnerable people throughout the pandemic.

Landlady Kay Towers swapped pulling pints for taking supplies and cream tea to the isolated, the Worksop Guardian reported.

The Bear's Paw, Wigan

This pub demonstrated incredible resilience during lockdown when its new landlords, Nathan and Matty, decided to take it to the next level.

They're already famed in Wigan for their friendliness, with one punter telling us: "Locals absolutely love these two young men and have fantastic rapport with them. You only need to meet them to see why they are loved."

Another customer told the Star: "Since taking over the pub, these guys have gone from strength to strength. Great asset to the place."

Ye Olde Monken Holt, Barnet, north London

Hailed as a "proper local that has been serving people for over 100 years", this pub has always fought off threats of closure to come back stronger.

It boasts an impressive beer selection and the management is always keen to help out with local causes.

One punter said: "It now has a wonderful landlady at the helm who has invigorated it and also brought the community closer together."

The White Gates, Comrie, Scotland

This boozer run by Catherine Campbell has it all. Don't take our word for it, a customer who nominated The White Gates has this to say: "This pub is amazing, from its live music to having a farm! It's not just a pub, it's a community."

He hailed fellow punters as "great", adding that the bar staff are "respectful" and the owners are "amazing" people who "look after all their customers".

Best Landlord/Landlady

Kay Towers, Holmefield Arms, Whitwell

Votes for landlady Kay Towers came in thick and fast when we launched the Great British Booze Off competition.

Tireless Kay has been described as "the heart of the community" who never stops fundraising.

During lockdown, she ran raffles and set up a food bank upstairs via a community unity project.

One nomination summed it up best: "She is one amazing lady and always makes me feel welcome."

Janie Seaton, The Black Bull Inn, Moffatt

Landlady Janie Seaton strives to create a unique environment and has been keeping everyone's spirits up throughout the pandemic by running a blog during lockdown.

It keeps people up to date with what's going on at the pub, including uplifting stories and comments.

A nomination read: "You always get a warm welcome at the Black Bull and during lockdown the landlady and staff have raised spirits….in a different way!"

Janie made her case to win, telling us: "The Black Bull Inn should win for many reasons but mainly because it’s heart is warm, it’s soul is kind, it brought something to many who needed it via words and thoughts inspired by this 453 year old hostelry – which was once loved by the great Bard Robert Burns.

"I always said that Covid was just one of many crises this pub has endured. Plagues, wars and battles and still it stands and thrives.

"The Black Bull Inn was never going to be defeated during a tough year because it had never been defeated by anything.

"It’s a haven, a palace of positivity and is loved with a passion not only by me, it’s landlady, but it’s staff and the customers who keep coming back over and over again and those who are part of it – in all corners of the world and needed it to soothe them in difficult times.

"There’s nowhere quite like The Black Bull Inn. It’s the very best without a doubt."

Phil Parsons, Frosty's Bar, Kenton

Frosty's has raised thousands of pounds for charity since opening in 2017 and the man who takes care of its day-to-day running, Phil Parsons, has looked after the community and NHS workers during the pandemic.

One nomination described Frosty's as a "fabulous community pub" and a "home from home".

Another regular said: "The pub where everybody knows your name. Always welcoming and wonderful staff."

Veronica McGowan, Ye Olde Monken Holt, Barnet

Ye Olde Monken Holt landlady Veronica McGowan is adored by regulars for her support of local charities.

Ably assisted by bar manager Gerry Cuniton, she organises fundraisers for the Puddenecks charity to help the elderly in Barnet, even providing hand delivered meals, and was described as "bringing the community closer together" in a nomination.

One said: "It's a friendly and welcoming pub where there's always a warm welcome from Gerry the head barman and , of course, Veronica the landlady herself.

Sid & Lisa, The Trumpet Inn, Evesham

Landlords Sid and Lisa have raised money for charity before and during lockdown, including a 24-hour radio show in aid of an air ambulance charity and Cancer Research, in memory of a regular who lost their life to Covid.

They’ve kept the community engaged during lockdown with online discos and pub quizzes.

"They are friendly, helpful and liked by all that come to know them", said one pub-goer.

Sid, whose real name is Les Collins, told us: "Apparently a customer nominated us and I thought it was a joke – apparently not!

"Since taking over The Trumpet Inn we have made it into a family friendly pub, we are up for a laugh and we try to make everyone feel like they are sat at home.

"We have a town centre pub that is slightly hidden away – we call it a local village pub in a town.

"During lockdown we kept our customers entertained with online quizzes and even our own Saturday night radio show.

"We have had some amazing feedback on social media and have gained many followers from all across the country and even from countries abroad. What you see is what you get with us."

Toughest Pub

The Swan Inn, Little Chart, Kent

It was a tough year for the owners of The Swan Inn after cars crashed into the pub on two separate occasions, the first being on opening day on July 4.

They got through with sheer tenacity, putting up three marquees and an outside bar.

A nomination said: "Fabulous pub with lovely people who adore their gorgeous country pub – especially noted for wonderful gardens and river."

The Crown Inn, Chichester

One nomination claims the Crown Inn has turned its bad reputation from five years ago around to become one of the best watering holes in the village.

The introduction of live music and kids' activities have transformed it into a family-orientated pub.

"You feel at home when you walk in to the Crown – like one of the family", said one punter.

The Ramsgate, Stockton-on-Tees

Allan White and wife Katrina took over the pub's lease when the first lockdown hit and were unable to open until restrictions were lifted.

Another lockdown forced closure once more but, undeterred by the setbacks, they've refurbished the pub to bring in a new kitchen to serve food.

A regular said: "It has the best atmosphere, the best regulars and bar staff in Stockton".

The couple told the Star: "When we took over the whole place was painted black – not a nice place to drink in. But since then the whole pub has had a refurb and looks totally different.

"We have had a new kitchen put in to serve food and our customers are pleased with what we have accomplished in the four weeks we had to do.

"We have also raised money for two charities. For a small side street pub we are doing very well under the circumstances."

The Carlisle, Hastings

Despite its tough reputation and looks, The Carlisle is one of the most welcoming pubs, according to one nomination.

It also acts as the place to go for the May Day Run where 15,000 bikers come to Hastings every year.

One nomination read: "Great Biker pub and host of live music. Honestly one of the friendliest and most welcoming, non-judgemental pubs about."

The Mersey Clipper, Birkenhead

The Mersey Clipper, in the shadows of Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park stadium, has turned around its reputation and become a safe place for regulars thanks to a new landlord, says one pub-goer.

In their nomination, they said: "For a tough pub in a tough area, it now brings us a safe place to go as all the trouble has been removed.

"Keep up the work and long live The Clipper."

Landlord Jack Riley told us: "I am glad I made decision to change the pub name back to The Mersey Clipper – it’s really taken off and it’s still full steam ahead.

"It has its moment but don’t all pubs? I couldn’t do it all without my amazing team, to be honest. Nothing's too much hassle for them and with such a small team everyone gets on great.

"I can't wait to get all the fans back next door, me and the team miss all the match day hustle and bustle."

Best Selection of Beers

The Black Horse, Preston

The Black Horse in Preston is a haven for good beers. The landlord of this Grade II-listed pub has won a CAMRA award for contributions to real ale.

It's also one of the oldest buildings in Preston.

One punter summed it up: "An all round a well run pub with a community spirit. The licensee must be doing something right."

Danny Taylor from the pub said: "The Black Horse is a hidden architectural gem because it has one of the best preserved Victorian pub interiors in Britain yet a lot of people don't know what's inside!

"Great people and an awesome range of drinks. They just don't make pubs like this any more."

Devonshire Arms, Burton-on-Trent

If it's a varied selection of great beers and real ale you want, look no further than the Devonshire Arms in Burton-on-Trent.

The boozer was crowned CAMRA pub of the year in Burton and South Derbyshire in 2020 – high praise indeed!

"Fantastic hosts – friendly punters, nice and relaxing", said one nomination who put the pub forward for the best selection of beers category.

The Beaufort Arms, Stoke Gifford, Bristol

This dog-friendly pub located in the south west has more than eight real ale pumps and lagers from Spain, Italy and Ireland on offer to its thirsty customers, as well as local cider.

One of the pub's regulars said in their nomination: "The landlord will do anything and everything for you. It's warm and welcoming… making sure you leave with a smile."

The Black Swan, Ashover, Chesterfield

The Black Swan in Ashover prides itself on having a great selection of beers and ales for its punters.

If you're after something a little different or suffer with allergies, the pub provides a selection of non-alcoholic, gluten-free and wheat-free beers to try.

"Nothing is ever too much for the landlords", said one fan. "I've never have a bad experience in this pub."

Best friends Kelsey Holt and Sara Markham Wright took over the pub six weeks before the first lockdown.

Kelsey told us: "We have spent our time completely redecorating the whole pub back to its original charm as a 300-year-old country village pub.

"We offer a great selection of beers and ales and take pride in the quality and choice available. We are thrilled to be nominated and shortlisted."

The Garrison Saloon Bar, Brierley Hill, Dudley

The Garrison Saloon Bar's selection of real ales has helped it enter the Good Pub Guide in each of the two years it's been open.

It's also home of the Horny Tingler, which one nomination explained: "If you know you know, and if you don't, you're missing out!"

Another said: "Ace landlords, good selection of beers and an ace Peaky Blinders theme."

Best Pub To Watch Live Sport

Bristol County Sports Club, Bristol

One of the city's oldest establishments, this legendary club has been standing since 1892.

As the name suggests, this place is just about the pints. Punters can play or watch sport being played right before their eyes while taking a tipple.

The club has plenty of big screens for football fans and is even home to the Bristol Toffees, an Everton fan group.

The Turf, Wrexham

This pub was always destined to centre on sport, being situated right next to Wrexham AFC.

One regular at the Turf described the venue as "fantastic" and emphasised just how welcome long-standing punters feel at the bar by saying there are some who have been drinking there for more than 50 years.

"It's an absolutely fantastic pub," they said. "The Turf is just a stunning place with the best staff and landlord!"

The Park View, Burnley

This gem in Lancashire, close to Burnley's Turf Moor stadium, has earned a reputation for going above and beyond with its customers.

Its Navy veteran landlord is famed in Burnley for catering to all sporting needs.

Whether it's football or horse-racing, you can rely on this pub to provide a comfortable space to watch.

A regular told us: "This is the best pub in Burnley by far. A proper, old-school local that will help charities and people in need."

The Beehive, Whitefield, Manchester

The Beehive is fiercely proud of its Manchester identity and makes the most of the city's veneration of the worker bee.

One of its outer walls has a massive mural with the legend "Manchester – we do things differently here" emblazoned across it.

Its beer garden features artwork dedicated to the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena bombing and it's a favourite for live sports.

One member of staff told us landlord Danny Mac has been likened to a comedian.

She said: "Match days were always jovial occasions until Covid hit and we were forced to close the doors.

"We're now back open with restrictions so limited as to how many can come, but the loyalty shown to Danny and the Beehive has been great so hopefully come the new season it will be back to all the banter between fans, which we all miss."

The Orb, Bellshill, Scotland

A St Andrew's cross flies proudly in this sprawling pub, which is lined with TV screens for big games.

The North Lanarkshire boozer appears unassuming from the outside, but one step into this venue and you're certain it's a vibrant place that's much-loved by locals.

The Orb, a filming location for Trainspotting sequel T2, is traditional pub and a welcome change from slick, modern bars that definitely retains its soul.

Best Pub Pet

Danielle, East Cliff Tavern, Folkestone

There's lots to love about this tiny little pub in Folkestone – one being its resident dog.

One customer told us: "Danielle is a pooch renowned for charming snacks from regulars who frequently turn up with treats for her.

"The pub itself truly is a hidden gem – walking past you'd assume that it's just another house in Kent.

"But venture inside and you'll find a warm, welcoming atmosphere. And for glorious sunny days, the garden out back is perfect."

Aston, The Lyon Inn, Westbury-on-Severn

Aston, The Lyon Inn's "resident woofer" is renowned in the local community, according to the pub's boss.

Bryannah Collins said: "People visit us and halfway through their meal ask, 'Is the dog not here?'

"We're sure they only come to see him rather than us!

"He's an old boy now at 13 but as long as he's in front of his fire he's happy. We bought the pub in October so we're pretty new here but everyone has adopted Aston as their own!

Alfie, Duke of York/Angel Inn, Lichfield

If cute dogs are your thing, Alfie from the Duke of York and Angel Inn in Lichfield takes some beating.

He lives between the two pubs in the city.

The customer who nominated him said: "Pub dog Alfie is known in the city better than most people, having been the boss of the pubs since eight weeks old (for nearly 10 years).

"He does much of the social media marketing and has customers visit just to see him, as he lives between the two pubs owned by the landlords."

Shadow, The White Swan, Sandhurst

One big reason to visit The White Swan in Sandhurst is its dog, Shadow.

In one nomination, a customer said: "It's a great pub for locals with lovely atmosphere and adorable pub dog Shadow."

A refreshing break from the chain venues across Britain, this boozer makes a point of specialising in beers from local breweries.

Another punter said: "It's a great little pub with a great selection. It has great staff and a welcoming atmosphere."

Best Live Music Pub

The Boulevard, Wigan

It's the longest-standing live music venue in Wigan with a priority of supporting local artists by giving them a platform.

True to form for the hometown of legendary band The Buzzcocks, this is a hotspot of punk music for the local community in Greater Manchester.

The Boulevard remains a true grassroots venue that customers refer to as a second home.

The Walnut Tree Shades, Norwich

Described as an integral part of the Norwich music scene and the "de facto meeting place" for its entire grass roots movement.

The landlady also provides support where she can for local music.

The Walnut Tree Shades manages to balance its bustling crowds with a gentler side, with one punter telling the Star: "The atmosphere reminds me of a small village pub with very loyal patrons."

Hardy's, Dorchester

The landlord is so supportive of local live music that one nomination described the pub as having "the best live music in the area".

The pub also provided entertainment during lockdown by serving a substantive meal despite not having a full menu. Whether it's ska, country or musical comedy that you're after – this pub has definitely got you covered this summer.

The Bull Inn, Dover

It holds a summer stage for acts during the summer months every Sunday afternoon and is described as "the place to go if you want decent live music".

The venue itself sits on the charming River Dour and, when summer is over and winter is closing in, provides a cosy spot in which to watch live bands every Saturday evening.

The Snug, Atherton

So committed is this venue to music, that it continued to promote live sets from bands and acts online during lockdown with its own Snug Sessions.

When it's not providing acts at the cutting edge of the north west's music scene, The Snug Coffee House is baking home made cakes and gingerbread men to be enjoyed by kids in its courtyard.

Most Unusual/Unique Pub

East Cliff Tavern, Folkestone

Hailed as the "last backstreet boozer in Folkestone" by one regular, the East Cliff Tavern wasn't actually intended as a pub when it was built.

Rather, it is a converted house which was extended around 1900. It's been serving Kent locals since 1860 and maintains traditions such as separate bars depending on dress code.

Definitely worth a visit – but blink and you'll miss it!

Pit & Pendulum, Nottingham

This is the pub to go to if you're into all things gothic. The bar resembles the walls of a beaten-up cathedral.

And its purple walls are lit by lanterns that hang ominously from the ceiling and, of course, it shares its name with the 1961 horror classic starring the iconic actor Vincent Price.

Cocktails are definitely on the menu, as are foods from across the world.

The Carlisle, Hastings

The Carlisle started out as a pub catering to bikers back in the 60s and became central to the May Day rally.

To this day it honours that tradition with free live rock music. It incorporates street signs into its busy decor, which leans toward an industrial aesthetic.

Heavy metal artwork adorns its walls, making this a must-visit for any rock fans.

The Garrison Saloon Bar, Brierley Hill

This Dudley drinking spot, a Peaky Blinders themed bar, embraces its local history.

It's earned a place in the Good Pub Guide two years running.

Known for its "great staff and great atmosphere", The Garrison Saloon Bar boasts a massive selection of drinks.

There are more than 80 gins alone and specialities include cocktails but there are also plenty of real ales for lovers of a quiet pint.

Why Not? Cafe-bar, Worsley, Manchester

This venue has earned its place in the hearts of locals with its music nights and strange interior design.

Looking like a cross between a well-worn music hall and a charming coffee shop, Why Not? Cafe-bar serves up an impressive array of pub snacks.

Reviews praise it as a "fantastic place" with "quirky decor" that has a "really cool vibe to it".

Most Dedicated Regular

DC, East Cliff Tavern, Folkestone

You know a proper pub when its permanent fixtures include a local character who's there so often he becomes part of the furniture.

East Cliff Tavern's local legend, the late DC who sadly passed away three years ago, might have been even more well-known to punters than the staff.

One customer told us: "DC, God bless his soul, was in there every day after work. And at the weekend, you'd always see him having a jolly knees-up."

Neil, The Roebuck, Marlborough

Every pub has its heroes and The Roebuck in Marlborough is no different.

Landlord Will Phillips nominated his best customer, Neil, as his most loyal punter.

He thanked him for his support and custom through good times and bad.

He told the Star: "Neil is the most supportive and regular customer. He has been the first to come and the last to leave."

Keith, The Bridge, South Shields

When talking about dedication, it's hard to discount Keith Little.

After all, he rarely goes a day without visiting his local pub, The Bridge in South Shields.

He's a Sunderland fanatic, which is why he's got the nickname Mackem Keith.

The customer who nominated him told the Daily Star: "Mackem Keith is a pub legend. He's in the pub from opening, 365 days of the year."

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