On Tuesday the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) announced that the winner of its National Pub of the Year competition was the Salutation Inn in Gloucestershire. After visiting last October, I completely concur.
There are, of course, many potential factors. But usually, at the heart of it, are the people who run it. The best local breweries, most stunning views or finest Victorian architecture count for nothing if the people in charge are just going through the motions.
It’s not easy running a pub. You have to be great with people, and you have to be prepared to work long hours. To really shine, you either need the energy of youth, or the budget for a team to supply it. And the part that doesn’t get talked about often enough – it’s a business. You have to be a really good businessman – an exceptional entrepreneur. You need to always be looking for that new idea that will appeal to people and give them reasons to cross the threshold. Oh yes, and you’ve got to be really good at keeping beer in perfect condition.
Peter Tiley ticks all these boxes, and one final one – he absolutely loves what he does.
I met him when he invited me down to the Sally as part of the Apple Day celebrations last year. It’s the kind of pub you don’t want to leave. I wrote about that visit here, in my column for the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.
Congratulations Pete and all at the Sally.