Bexhill air force club wins national award

The Albatross RAFA Club's beer festival is always popular. Photo by Margaret Garcia
The Albatross RAFA Club's beer festival is always popular. Photo by Margaret Garcia
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A Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) club in Bexhill won a national award thanks in part to its ale selection.

The Albatross RAFA Club won the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) national club of the year competition beating 28,000 other clubs nationwide.

Club of the Year final judge Keith Spencer, who is presenting the award to the Albatross today (Thursday, March 24), said: “The club offers a wide range of beer and cider which is kept in great condition, but that is only part of the story.

“The bar staff and steward are part of a bigger team that makes the Albatross the epitome of what a community asset should be.

“Everyone connected with the club ensures the welcome is warm for everyone that enters the club.

“On a visit there before Christmas, they were holding a mince pie and raffle evening for the local OAPs and the club was bursting at the seams with happy customers generating a fantastic atmosphere.”

The Albatross won ahead of three other award-winning CAMRA clubs from across the country: the Cheltenham Motor Club, the Kinver Constitutional Club in Stourbridge, Staffordshire and the Orpington Liberal Club, Kent.

The club hosts popular beer festivals in April and September in its large function room and has a full diary of regular social events including jazz, folk and quiz nights.

It stocks beers from local brewers such as Rother Valley, Weltons and Dark Star and boasts an interesting collection of RAF memorabilia.

It has been the local club of the year every year since 2012 and was regional club of the year in 2013 and 2014.

CAMRA’s clubs advisory group chairman John Holland and competition organiser John Holland said: “CAMRA’s club of the year competition each year goes from strength to strength as more and more clubs show great commitment to quality real ale.

“This has made it increasingly difficult to become a CAMRA regional club of the year and then get through to the final.

“Therefore I anticipate an extremely close fight to become CAMRA’s next club of the year.”

The award will be presented at 1.30pm and the local CAMRA branch and club members will be in attendance.

Club Mirror magazine and CAMRA joined forces three years ago in the quest to find the country’s best clubs.

CAMRA branches across the country nominate clubs for the competition and are judged by panels of volunteer members throughout the year.

Clubs that serve great quality real ale, cider or perry can now be entered into CAMRA’s club of the year 2017 competition.

To enter, visit www.camra.org.uk/cotynomination by Friday, May 6.

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