CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year competition recognises all the criteria that make a great pub, including atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly, the quality of the beer.
The building, which sits next door to the Pioneers Museum, which is the original Co-op store, has only been a pub for around 30 years and was converted from Morris’s Hardware Store in the 1980’s. The name Baum is pronounced 'Bome' so as to rhyme with 'Home'.
Simon Crompton, one of the owners, started work in The Baum in 1993 and became manager in 1994. In 2005, Simon and his wife Heidi, who co-owns the business, bought the pub just two days after having their first child.
On hearing the news, Heidi Crompton said, “We were ecstatic to hear that we had been voted CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year. We are very proud of the team that have played an important role in The Baum’s success and it is a testament to their hard work that the consumers have recognised our pub with this prestigious award.”
Heidi continued, “We are a family run pub with our values influencing every aspect of the business in relationships with our staff and suppliers. We are dedicated to the ‘buy local, shop local’ initiative, always willing to support independent businesses. The support from the regular customers and local CAMRA members is valued and we would like to thank everyone for their continued support.”
CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2013 describes the pub as “A split-level hostelry with old world charm next door to the world’s first co-operative store. The Baum has eight handpumps, one dedicated to cider, and a large variety of continental bottled beers. Excellent food includes vegetarian dishes, with a tapas menu available throughout the week. There is an upstairs dining / function room. The large rear garden, over looked by a conservatory, contains two full-size pétanque pistes.”
CAMRA’s Pubs Director, Julian Hough was delighted with this year’s winner and said, “I would like to congratulate Simon, Heidi and all of the staff at The Baum on winning CAMRA’s national award. This close to town pub has a winning formula which is well supported by customers. The range of quality products and their fresh modern approach means I’m delighted to crown The Baum our National Pub of the Year. Go and see it for yourself and experience what a brilliant pub it is”.
Peter Alexander, Chairman of Rochdale, Oldham and Bury CAMRA said, "Clearly we are absolutely thrilled that the Baum has been chosen as CAMRA's National Pub of the Year. While we locally know how good a pub the Baum is, it is fantastic to have this confirmed by senior judges who have never visited it before. Given that the Baum was up against some tremendously fierce competition, Simon and Heidi have done a tremendous job. There is no higher accolade in pub awards and we in the local CAMRA branch are very proud to have Britain's best pub in our area. "
The presentation of the National Pub of the Year competition will take place at The Baum, 33-37 Toad Lane, Rochdale, Lancashire, OL12 0NU on Wednesday 13th February at 1pm.
The three other finalists were:
Bridge End Inn, Ruabon, Wales – winner of CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year last year and the first Welsh winner of this award. Taken over by the McGivern family in 2009, it sells five different real ales.
Address – 5 Bridge Street, Ruabon, Wrexham, LL14 6DA
· Conqueror Alehouse, Ramsgate, Kent – Ramsgate’s smallest free house, where ale and cider are served straight from barrels. It offers a quiet, music and TV free atmosphere in which to enjoy a pint or two.
Address – 4C Grange Road, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 9LR
· Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton, Devon – a former CAMRA National Pub of the Year in 2006, it sells 14 different real ales every week, plus 20 ciders in a pub that is ‘part of community life’.
Address – off A3124 in Spreyton Village, EX17 5AL