A REAL ale and cider pub in Llandudno was one of 32 UK establishments to be recognised with a special award, and was the only among them to be based in Wales.
The Penrhyn Arms, found on Pendre Road in the village of Penrhynside, has been a Golden Award from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as part the organisation’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
This year, CAMRA has been shining a light on 50 people, groups or businesses that have made a significant contribution to their aims, helping the company get to where it is today, and bestowing the Golden Award upon 32 UK pubs was one such project of theirs.
Mark Roberts, who has owned the pub for the last four-and-a-half-years, was understandably delighted with the award, but felt much credit should also go to its previous owner, John Sumbland, who still works at the Penrhyn Arms.
“I’m absolutely chuffed to bits,” said Mark, who added that the certificate received from CAMRA director for Wales, Chris Charters, will take pride of place on a wall of the pub.
“It’s quite amazing, really – we’re the only pub in Wales with a Golden Award, which is quite an achievement.
“I’m absolutely made up; it’s a hell of an achievement.
“To be fair, John has had so many awards off them (CAMRA); he’s done a lot of the work in the past. We’ve kept so many guest ales on – we have four guests every week from all over the country – and it’s really down to him. He’s the man who keeps the beers right and he’s done very well.”
Indeed, this is by no means the first award the Penrhyn Arms has received; in 2015, while John was still owner, it was named Cider & Perry Pub of the Year by the Abercolwyn branch of CAMRA for the tenth successive year.
And this latest award, Mark added, feels particularly special, given the trials and tribulations of running a business during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the pub be forced to close on numerous occasions in the last 18 months.
He said: “That (COVID-19) makes it even more of a surprise. We’ve had 18 months of disruption.
“Having said that, I love my real ales and John really does a good job of it. It’s probably going to do us a lot of good, because there’s a lot of real ale drinkers that have visited in the last week, so it’s great news.
“We’ve been really, really busy; to be honest, it’s exceeded my expectations by a long way. It’s been absolutely fantastic.”