The Rusty Bicycle in East Oxford has won the National Pub and Bar Award for the Best Pub in the county and will now go on to represent the region in a grand final with the aim to be crowned best in the country.
The annual event, held in London on 28 June, will see 94 venues go head-to-head with only one leaving with the national accolade.
The Rusty Bicycle, situated on Magdalen Road in East Oxford is part of the Dodo Pubs Co, a small group that began at this site in 2009. This was the first of one of three Arkell’s Brewery pubs that the group took on and run in their own style, redefining the neighbourhood pub.
Alex Arkell, now the head brewer for the Swindon based family run business, studied with Dodo founder, Chris Manners, then later partnered with Chris as the first landlords in the Rusty Bicycle in 2010, before moving on to learn brewing and qualify as a master brewer.
Alex Arkell said of The Rusty Bicycle’s achievement: “The Rusty and Dodo have come a long way since those early days, and of course the late nights! We’re incredibly proud to have been involved from the start. It is also a great award for Oxford and Oxfordshire as a county.”
Chris Manners added: “We were incredibly fortunate to get the backing of the brewery in those early years. As with all startups, you have hundreds of ideas and you need someone to believe in you. Arkell’s backed us 100% and we delivered three fantastic neighbourhood pubs with them. This gave us the corner stone to grow the business and we continue to work closely with them.”