Britain’s best pub is ‘traditional boozer’

A pub described as a “traditional boozer” by its owner, which used to be a hardware store and is next door to a museum, has been named the best in Britain.

Real ale group Camra crowned The Baum in Rochdale the winner of its national pub of the year competition, praising its range of beers, atmosphere and warm welcome to customers.

Simon Crompton joined the pub as a barman in 1993, became manager a year later and now runs the business with his wife Heidi. They bought the pub in 2005, two days after having their first child.

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Mr Crompton said: “We are about keeping tradition going, so we run a traditional boozer, offering eight handpump beers and good quality food.

“People don’t go out every night any more, so we try to make it a bit of a treat to come here.

“We don’t have a jukebox, just background music, because coming here is about people getting together.”

His wife added: “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.”

Camra’s Good Beer Guide describes The Baum as: “A split-level hostelry with old world charm next door to the world’s first Co-operative store.”

The pub is next door to the Pioneers Museum, which celebrates the original Co-op store.