A POPULAR Moulton pub has won a ‘thoroughly deserved’ award for pub of the year in North Cheshire.

The Lion, on Main Road, between Northwich and Winsford, has been recognised by North Cheshire Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) for their services and beers in the last year.

They won the award in 2020 but they could not be presented the award, so after the CAMRA members had sent in their beers scores, the Lion came out top once again and were awarded the title.

“The Lion thoroughly deserves recognition as our Pub of the Year, always serving great cask ales in a welcoming atmosphere,” Andy Edwards, chair of North Cheshire CAMRA said.

"It's exciting to be able to visit our great pubs once again and if it hadn't for a global pandemic we would have presented this award a lot sooner.”

The award covers nearly 400 premises with just over 50 per cent that sell cask ale from Warrington to Frodsham and Northwich.

Firstly ale is assessed, then customer service, cleanliness, atmosphere, facilities and the range of ales.

And Doll Jones, joint owner of the Lion, could not be more pleased to be presented with the prize.

“We’re absolutely delighted,” she said.

“It’s been an extremely difficult 16 months as it has been for everybody is hospitality and it was quite frightening financially.

“We weren’t sure at the start of things whether it would be even possible to reopen so to be able to reopen, to have received huge support from the village, the quality of the ale being recognised and the service that we give, stuff like that makes it all worthwhile."

The pub had to get loans on top of the government grant to stay afloat, but now slowly but surely they are on their way back up.

Doll, who is from Rusholme and has been born and bred in a pub background, continued: “This sort of recognition, publicity and support all goes to help us carry on what we’re doing.

“Our staff have been brilliant. Every single member of staff has come back. It’s been really challenging for them but they’ve adapted really well to every change we’ve had to make.

“Staff and customers have been really, really good – everyone’s been really supportive."

And it is Doll’s partner, Andy Jones – who has been based with her in Moulton for eight years – and his passion for real ale that helps set them apart.

Doll, a former housing inspector, added: “He will only sell what he’s confident and happy to drink himself. We’ve got some brilliant local brewers, in particular Merlin, they’ve been really, really good and the Beer Trading Company based in Middlewich.

“We’re not a faceless pub company, we’re a family-run pub, we’re very invested in what we do. It’s not just a business for us, it is a lifestyle.

“We’re very invested in the community and the pub being part of that. I think because we’ve supported the village, they’ve just got behind us 100 per cent. We couldn’t have asked for anymore from anybody.”