The Fenton Hotel, Woodhouse Lane was awarded Leeds CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2016.
The award recognises the pub or club in the Leeds CAMRA branch area that best promotes and encourages the sale of quality real cider and perry. The Fenton will now go forward to a round of regional judging, leading ultimately to one pub or club being named the CAMRA National UK Cider pub of the Year.
Warren Yabsley the Leeds CAMRA Cider and Perry lead explained:
“With an ever increasing number of pubs in the city, now over 35, selling real cider and perry*, When the near 2,300 Leeds CAMRA branch members were asked to nominate venues for Cider Pub of the Year we received more nominations than previously. After much consideration the list was whittled down to a final six before judging panel members independently visited the venues over the course of a couple of months.
The pubs were assessed according to CAMRA’s national judging criteria that incorporates various aspects including quality of cider, staff knowledge, promotion of cider, welcome & friendliness, community focus and overall experience. The judges’ scores were totted up and The Fenton came out top.
All the judges were very impressed with the quality of The Fenton’s cellar-cooled ciders, staff knowledge and promotion such as blackboards outside advertising real cider. The pub will go forward into the regional competition against the 17 other Yorkshire CAMRA branch winners.”
Jonny Steeples, co-owner of the Fenton said;
“Myself and partner Siobhan Thew, bought the lease at The Fenton in May 2014. We both have lots of hospitality experience running bars and restaurants but this is the first place we have taken on as owners. The Fenton has a well established reputation, particularly in the Leeds live music scene, but when we took over it had been neglected and unloved for a while. In the last two years we have revitalised the pub. We focus on keeping our team happy and motivated which creates an atmosphere that flows from behind the bar and ensures our customers have an excellent experience. This coupled with quality products and a busy events calendar means The Fenton has been a great success in the past two years. We have no plans to leave so long may it continue!
Winning the Leeds CAMRA Cider pub of the year is a great honour for us. It highlights what we have achieved here at The Fenton and it is wonderful to be recognised for our commitment to great service and quality products.”
* NB – Real cider is produced naturally from apples and is still rather than carbonated (fizzy). Small-scale producers from Cornwall to Yorkshire and Kent to Wales craft a wide range of styles from sweet to dry with an increasing number of fruit flavoured varieties. It usually comes in a 10 or 20 litre bag-in-box and keeps for a long time even once opened provided it is kept cool with no maintenance required. For publicans looking to diversify the range of quality products they offer and attract more customers, stocking real cider is definitely worth considering. Here, the term real cider incorporates perry, which is like cider but made with pears.

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