After extensive recounts and claims of vote rigging, financial inducements and copious amounts of pork scratchings, the LifeAfterFootball results are finally declared.
The winner of the 2020 inaugural Midlands Best Micro award goes to none other than….The Sawley Junction.
It was based purely on readers’ votes and whilst popular doesn’t always mean better, Glen Medeiros had a number one before The Clash for example, there can be no denying it is a worthy winner.
Firstly, can I thank everyone who actually took the time to comment on the blog and vote as this is my most commented upon post in around three years of pub blogging.
(Book club at The Creaky Floorboard, Derby)
However, people don’t read this for gushing praise they want to see real life pub escapades although it’s never quite as good as Martin’s!
(The Turtle’s Head, Aldridge…on the podium)
Nonetheless, there were 42 Micropubs mentioned in the Midlands stretching from Hereford to Chesterfield to Market Harborough, Kidderminster, Aldridge Northampton, Ludlow, Buxton and Stirchley to name but a few.
(Real Ale Corner, Chesterfield…maybe next year lads)
I’d already flagged up a fair few during my travels as possibles and this is an ever evolving scene with new boozers springing up all the time.
(pork pies in the Bitter Suite, Lichfield)
Honorary mentions in dispatches also for The Last Heretic (Burton on Trent), Bitter Suite (Lichfield), Joiners Arms (Bakewell), The Burnt Pig (Ilkeston), The Turtles’ Head (Aldridge), Heddins Ford (Hednesford) and Hail To The Ale (Wolverhampton) who also received more than a single vote.
(proper pub behaviour in The Last Heretic, Burton…also on the podium)
I’m also going to mention The Millipede in Stapleford as they contacted me and said I should visit and I love gaffers of boozers who go the extra mile so that is definitely on my to do agenda.
(Cask Bar, Hartshill – estate Micro!)
But it is The Sawley Junction, perched over the road from Long Eaton Station in Derbyshire, that picks up the title of Midlands Best Micro 2020.
Cracking beer, attention to detail, fantastic barstaff and a top-notch atmosphere are just some of the reasons this place won….oh yes, more people voted for it as well!
(Caught & Bowled, Giltbrook…terrace house Micro)
I sincerely hope that Midlands Micros will be able to open in July as the distancing rules may make it tricky…
(cheese & onion cob anyone?)
But there are plenty to visit as this group have just whetted the appetite. You can read about my visits to some of the contenders below