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Yarmouth pub's success story

PUBLISHED: 09:30 19 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:46 30 June 2010

Real ale lovers in Great Yarmouth were toasting the town's Mariners pub last night after it was named as a top drinking den by CAMRA.

The pub, on Howard Street, has clinched the Norwich and Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale branch pub of the year award by beating off stiff competition from a dozen over pubs.

Real ale lovers in Great Yarmouth were toasting the town's Mariners pub last night after it was named as a top drinking den by CAMRA.

The pub, on Howard Street, has clinched the Norwich and Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale branch pub of the year award by beating off stiff competition from a dozen over pubs.

Yesterday the Mariners owner Shaun Underdown did not let celebrating his pub's success get in the way of what he does best - pulling pints for his regular customers.

Mr Underdown, 38, has owned the pub for five years and thanks to bringing in a wide range of real ales and creating a friendly warm atmosphere his punters gets through an impressive 35 firkins (315 gallons) of real ale a week.

The Mariners' success in concentrating on real ales has paid off as it is the first ever Yarmouth pub to have won the coveted branch of the year award.

Mr Underdown, who used to be a doorman and who lives in Lowestoft, said: “It was a bolt from the blue to be told we had won.

“At first I thought it was a wind up as I thought no pub in Yarmouth would ever win it.”

He put down the secret of his real ale success to working closely with local breweries and waiting a week before serving any real ales that had been delivered to give them time to settle.

Mr Underdown, who also owns pubs in Lowestoft and Gorleston, also said his award would not be possible without the support of his partner Gemma Searby, his son Kia and his sister Shirley Twose who is the pub's manager.

Warren Wordsworth, branch pubs officer for Norwich and Norfolk CAMRA said: “This is the first time that a pub from the Yarmouth area has won our branch pub of the year award.

“I hope this will not only be a boost to the Mariners but will also raise the profile of real ale to the Yarmouth area in general.”

The Mariners will now go head to head in the CAMRA county pub of the year competition against the yet to be announced winner of the West Norfolk CAMRA pub of the year award.

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