THE search to find Northern Ireland’s top pubs came to a dramatic conclusion this week, as the finest pubs from across Northern Ireland gathered at Belfast City Hall to toast the trade at Pubs of Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards 2012.
The Pub of the Year Awards celebrate the excellence that exists in our local pub trade by presenting top awards to the winning pubs in a range of categories, including the coveted Northern Ireland Pub of the Year Award which was presented by Mark Stewart, chair of Pubs of Ulster, to Pier 36 in Donaghadee.
As well as taking the top Pub of the Year title, Pier 36 was also named Best Tourism/ Visitor Pub 2012. Celebrating the award win, Lewis Waterworth from Pier 36, said:
“We are honored and delighted to bring the prestigious Pub of the Year 2012 and Best Tourism/ Visitor Pub titles to Donaghadee.
“We have invested a lot in the bar over the last number of years, especially in staff training and our overall customer service, as our biggest priority is always ensuring that our customers have the best experience when they visit us.”
The Pub of the Year Awards is the culmination of an extensive search for the best pubs in a range of categories across Northern Ireland. Finalists were selected following an extensive judging process and were judged, depending on their category, by written submissions, interviews or by independent mystery shoppers.
This year’s ceremony also saw the Pub of the Year Awards first posthumous honour, as the late Joey Dunlop was celebrated for his contribution to the local licensed trade with Pubs of Ulster’s Chairman’s Award. The special award, presented by BBC sports correspondent Stephen Watson to members of Joey’s family, recognises the role Joey played in establishing one of Northern Ireland’s most famous pubs, Joey’s Bar and his tireless charitable efforts, which often saw him make regular trips to Romania to deliver aid to orphans.