The George in Tunbridge Wells named CAMRA West Kent Pub of the Year

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Managers of one of the oldest pubs in Tunbridge Wells believe providing a good local beer is behind its award winning success.

The George was last week named West Kent Pub of the Year by Campaign For Real Ale [CAMRA], just two years after being taken over and revamped.

Paul Fillis, Manager of the Mount Ephraim pub, said: ‘Winning is fantastic for us and we are so stoked to get this as we are just coming up to our second birthday.

‘We deal with independent breweries as much as we can and customers like to know they are supporting local beer.

‘They produce much nicer beers than the national companies.’

The George opened in 1739 and was taken over by Richard Simm and Jason Dormon in 2016, who also own the Ragged Trousers and Sussex Arms, which are both in The Pantiles.

It has undergone several name changes and was last known as TN4 before being given back its old name.

Another feature of the pub is that they make some of the beer they sell.

Font Hill Brewing Company is directly beneath The George and their first brew, an American amber ale called Beta, has been on sale since Christmas.

Mr Fillis continued: ‘What we aim to provide is a nice, comfortable space and our team work well together.

‘Craig was impressed with our cellar. We always have local beers.’

CAMRA is a worldwide group of around 188,000 members, who aim to have good quality ale served in thriving pubs in every community.

Their West Kent committee voted for the award, which has previously seen The Windmill in Sevenoaks and Fuggles in Tunbridge Wells celebrated.

The George had to keep the award win a secret for two weeks after receiving the news from Craig Beeson, West Kent CAMRA Chairman, who presented the certificate last week.

Co-Owner Richard Simm said: ‘I have to say hats off to my staff, there are about ten working here.

‘It is about keeping up with what is going on [in the wider scene] and keeping prices as low as possible.

‘There is a saying that you never own a pub and that you just look after it. We are the latest in a long line.’

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