The manager of West Wales pub The Penwig has been named Brains' Manager of the Year. Mike Hockaday (pictured with his wife Chris and Chairman Christopher Brain), who runs the Newquay pub, collected the award plus a £5,000 cheque at an ceremony held in Cardiff.
Prizes of £1,000 were also handed out to the category winners. The Penhelig Arms in Aberdovey picked up the food pub of the year, the White Horse in Coychurch was named best community pub, the Aubrey in Bonvilston was rewarded for its customer service, and the title of bar person of the year was claimed by Lisa Psaila from the Grape and Olive in Cardiff.
Philip Lay, Retail Director at Brains explains: "The awards are all about celebrating the best pubs and people in our managed estate. It gives us the opportunity to thank truly outstanding staff who deliver superb customer experiences everyday."The Brains Chef of the Year Award went to Mathew Lewis of the Lamb and Flag, Abergavenny.
Jamie Lewis from Churchills Hotel in Cardiff and Martin Morgan from The Star in Dinas Powys were named runner-up. The remaining finalists were Claire Barrell from the Lamb & Flag; Adam Tudor from Churchills; and Gareth Webb from the Black Lion in Lampeter.
Jill Matthews, Head of Catering at Brains added: "Long gone are the days when pub food meant a poor ploughman’s or a packet of cheese and onion crisps. Brains pubs today are serving great food whether they are in the heart of the community with a regular trade of locals or in a drive to location with a more sophisticated food offer. Customers are increasingly choosing to eat in our pubs where they know they can get both great food and value in preference to restaurants."