Isfield pub wins prestigious CAMRA title

Branch co-ordinator Steve Pardoe (left) presented the winner's certificate to licensees Andy and Linda Brooks, who are seen with son Henry, one of the pub's chefs. Photo by Ian MacDonald. SUS-160305-144031001

Branch co-ordinator Steve Pardoe (left) presented the winner's certificate to licensees Andy and Linda Brooks, who are seen with son Henry, one of the pub's chefs. Photo by Ian MacDonald. SUS-160305-144031001

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An Isfield pub has been awarded the prestigious Country Pub of the Year title by Brighton and South Downs Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The Laughing Fish is owned by pub retailer and brewer Greene King, but as tenants, responsibility for the business lies with husband and wife team Andy and Linda Brooks.

Located in the village of Isfield, near Uckfield, the pub is known for its commitment to stocking cask ales from local microbreweries. The pair were presented with a trophy by Steve Pardoe from CAMRA at the pub last week.

The Laughing Fish was extensively refurbished in 2013 and re-launched with a wider range of real ales from local breweries such as the Isfield Brewing Company, Burning Sky Brewery and Long Man Brewery. The pub regularly features in the Good Beer Guide.

Andy Brooks said: “Our passion for cask ale is one of the reasons we wanted to get into the pub trade in the first place, so we are over the moon with this award.

“People tell us they love coming here because we are a ‘proper pub’, which is exactly what we aim to be.

“When we had the refurbishment we were keen to modernise while still retaining the pub’s true character and our guests tell us they love how warm and cosy it is here.

“We are really proud of the Laughing Fish and to receive Country Pub of the Year is the icing on the cake.”

The Laughing Fish has featured on Brighton and South Downs CAMRA’s ‘Summer Ale Trail’ every year since Andy and Linda started running the pub, 15 years ago.

Since the pub’s refit, the couple committed to using local suppliers wherever possible. This ethos extends beyond the bar, and the pub uses local ingredients in its menu.

Clive Chesser, managing director for Greene King Pub Partners, said: “This is a well-deserved accolade for Andy and Linda, who take great pride in serving quality, well-kept ales, both from Greene King and from some fantastic local brewers. The Laughing Fish is a real haven for cask ale fans.”

For more information on the pub visit www.thelaughingfish.co.uk.

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