The Bull has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Free House’ category of the Great British Pub Awards.
The Ditchling pub, which is the taphouse for Bedlam Brewery in Albourne, has made it to the final six of the national competition.
“I’m very proud that the team has been recognised for their efforts, not just over the last year but ever since we bought The Bull 13 years ago,” said Dominic Worrall, MD of Bedlam Brewery and owner of The Bull.
“I also think that it recognizes the amazing loyalty of the customers who have stuck with us, shouted about us and made the atmosphere at The Bull what it is: unique.”
Dominic said he was ‘absolutely ecstatic’ when he heard that they were on the shortlist.
“It’s quite an unbelievable achievement for a country pub off the beaten track,” he said. “We are a small business and a close team who have worked really hard together to make a difference.
“The Bull has seen continuous growth every year, for 13 years. We have just acquired planning permission for a major expansion, which will see the currently derelict barns we own converted in to further letting accommodation, a new state of the art kitchen and further dining space. This will be completed and open in 2017.
“Meanwhile Bedlam Brewery, which we launched a couple of years ago is also growing at an amazing rate and has seen growth way beyond our expectations. The result is that we will be building a brand new brewery and relocating the business closer to Ditchling in early 2017.
“What started out as a hobby for us has quickly gained a reputation for producing beautiful beers and we are now supplying over 200 pubs, bars and restaurants across Sussex, London and the South East - we have even started exporting the beer into Europe!
“Perhaps the most satisfying part is that it will enable us to create real jobs for local people and generate further income for other local businesses supplying us.
“I don’t know of another brewery that owns a pub that has gained the level of recognition that we have at The Bull. We have always been focused on offering the highest level of service, along with sourcing the best produce we can find - at both The Bull and the brewery.
“These range from working with other brilliant Sussex producers and suppliers such as Ridgeview Estate and Blackdown Spirits through to the short range boats out of Shoreham harbour and amazing local farms like ‘Trenchmore’, based in Cowfold.
“But lastly, it’s down to the teams at both The Bull and Bedlam Brewery, who all share the same desire to deliver beyond our customers’ expectations. Not for a moment have we rested or been completely satisfied and it’s that collective drive that keeps us focussed and determined to improve.”
The winner will be announced at the Great British Pub Awards ceremony in London in October.
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