Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C., the London brewer and premium pub company, has named Helen Wilson at the Mad Bishop and Bear as this winner of the Company’s 2014 Master Cellarman of the Year competition.
This is the first time one of Fuller’s station pubs has been awarded this accolade, a brilliant achievement for a great year at the pub, which came close to taking the title last year.
The Mad Bishop and Bear received the award after excelling in every area of quality control from cellar to glass. The pub impressed the judges, who included Fuller’s Head Brewer John Keeling and beer writer Melissa Cole.
Helen Wilson, General Manager at the Mad Bishop and Bear, said: “We entered the competition last year and I was delighted to win best newcomer and second overall, but to win the title this year is an amazing achievement. Over the last few years I have enjoyed the huge challenge of bringing the pub back to life, including regaining the lost Master Cellarman status for the pub and increasing the stillage capacity from 12 to 21 barrels.
“Earlier this year we brewed our own beer, using only English hops and malts, and sold 18 barrels of it in less than 30 days. We sell more London Pride than any other draught product we stock and now always need five 18 gallon barrels on the stillage to keep up with demand. It takes an amazing team behind our efforts and everyone who works at the Mad Bishop and Bear takes pride in what we have achieved and is focussed on continuing to serve great beer.”
During the rigorous quality checks carried out by the Fuller’s Beer Quality Team, cellar hygiene and dispense equipment are thoroughly inspected, as well as samples of beer taken away for analysis, to ensure the customer is being given the best of the best.
“It’s such a pleasure to give this award to a person who lives and breathes cask ale,” said Fuller’s head brewer John Keeling, while toasting all the finalists with a pint of London Pride.
“When you visit a Fuller’s pub which has been awarded Master Cellarman status, you can be safe in the knowledge that the beer they serve is in the best possible condition – just as it is when it leaves the brewery gates. Even more incredibly, all eight of our finalists this year received top marks during the judging, showing just how high the standard is.”
The Master Cellarman of the Year award recognises consistently outstanding cellar quality in Fuller’s pubs, with managers and tenants needing to sustain a score of at least 96% across four visits from the Fuller’s Beer Quality Team throughout the year to be named as finalists for the overall title.
Fuller’s offers in-depth cellar training courses throughout the year to provide pub teams with the necessary skills to ensure the company’s beer is delivered at the best possible quality in each and every pub in the estate, as well as to on-trade national account customers.
To date, 212 Fuller’s pubs hold the Master Cellarman badge of distinction (13 more than in August 2013), which is displayed in all the certified pubs as a gong on top of the London Pride pump handle.
The second place Master Cellarman of the Year award went to Tom Hayden at the Partridge, Bromley while Lisa Walker at the Queens Head, Chesham and Rob and Rachel Burrows from the Pointer, Isle of Wight, were jointly named in third place. The Pride and Passion award was awarded to Josh Rozario at the Swan Hotel, Staines and the Best Newcomer award went to Kim Rennie at the Crystal Palace in Bath.
The other Master Cellarman finalists were: Julian at the Fox and Goose Hotel in Ealing and Bryan Walsh at the Harpenden Arms, Harpenden.