Pub of the Year


Potty about POTY? What sounds like a receptacle for the results of a good night out on the beer is actually CAMRA-speak for our annual Pub of the Year awards.

Every year, all CAMRA branches nominate and vote for the favourite pubs in their area. The winners then go on to the county, regional and finally, national awards. Even at a local level, the award is highly regarded. 

The difficulty is that everyone has his or her own idea of the ideal pub, which is why it is so important to get as many people voting as possible. EVERY member of Colchester CAMRA can have their say, and the more votes we receive, the greater our confidence that we'll come up with the right result.

Winners will inevitably receive good publicity in the local media and trade press, resulting in increased trade. But they mustn't be complacent, as we start from scratch every year with no pre-conceptions. Our 2005 POTY, the Red Lion in Kirby-le-Soken (now in Tendring Camra), was not even in the Good Beer Guide at the time - but is proof that we monitor all the pubs in our region, and shows what good Landlords can achieve in a short space of time. In the past, we’ve had some criticism that pubs in central Colchester have been favoured, but the 2011 and 2012 winner, the Thatchers at Bures, is about as rural as they come – we will go anywhere to find a decent pint!

Past Pubs of the Year 

2019 Overall Pub of the Year: The New Inn, Colchester

Town Pub of the Year: 

  • Winner: New Inn
  • Runner-Up: Live and Let Live, Stanway
  • Highly Commended: The Ale House

Rural Pub of the Year:

  • Winner: Black Buoy, Wivenhoe
  • Runner-Up: Ye Olde Albion, Rowhedge
  • Highly Commended: The White Hart, Halstead

How does Colchester CAMRA choose its Pub of the Year?


The branch asks all of its members to vote for their pub of the year. Each member can nominate up to 5 branch pubs in order of preference. Votes can be cast online, by post or at the members night of the Colchester Winter beer festival. 

There isn't just one prize, we award 3 titles in town and rural categories: Pub of the Year, Runner Up and Highly Commended. Either the Town Pub of the Year or Rural Pub of the Year is selected as overall winner to go onto the national stages of the competition.

Votes alone do not choose the winning pubs, we also take into account the beer scores of each nominated pub. This graphic explains how the awards are decided.