The Spinning Mill, in Ballymena, is celebrating success in the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Northern Ireland ‘pub of the year’ awards.
Pub manager Krystal Schollick and her team took the title from The Bridge House, in Belfast, the winner for the previous two years.
The Spinning Mill is Krystal’s first pub, having taken over in August last year, so she is understandably delighted with the award. Krystal said: “We are all so pleased to have won.
“It is fantastic that CAMRA NI has recognised the work which we have put in, as we are the only pub in Ballymena which sells real ale.”
Philip Hernberg, branch chairman CAMRA NI, pictured presenting the award to Krystal, said: “The ‘pub of the year’ was decided on by democratic vote, during an open branch meeting. Several criteria apply, including ambience, appearance, friendliness and, most importantly, beer quality.
“It was felt that beer quality had improved vastly since Krystal, the current manager, had taken over and it was this, above anything else, which tipped the balance in the pub’s favour.
“This is a perfect example of a manager listening to customers’ concerns, recognising problems, identifying and dealing with them in a satisfactory manner.
“The NI branch is delighted to select The Spinning Mill, the first Wetherspoon pub to open in Northern Ireland, as this year’s ‘pub of the year’.
“Hopefully, this will send out a signal to all pubs throughout the Province, as this is the third time in three years that the award has gone to a Wetherspoon pub.”