March 12, 2014 by Kay Byrne
A pub that looked as if it had closed for good less than 18 months ago has been voted pub of the year by Camra’s Swansea branch.
The Pilot was reopened by Jo and Richard Bennett on 1 December 2012. With six real ales on hand pump, it was an instant hit with locals and real ale fans from far and wide.
Six months later Richard and business partner Rob Turner started the Mumbles Brewery from the back of the premises.
They have developed their own range of ales that includes Mumbles Mile, Mumbles Gold, Lifesaver and Oystermouth Stout.
Colin Smith, Camra Swansea branch chairman, said the pub had emerged as a clear winner in the vote.
He added: “We named the Pilot pub of the year because of the quality and range of beer they have in-house and from other breweries and also because of the atmosphere. It’s a great local pub and there is always a smile of welcome. The beer is also good value at £3 a pint.”
Co-licensee Jo Bennett said: “We are delighted to have won this award. When we started we weren’t even sure if the pub was going to be viable, but we wanted to make a go of the brewery so we took the pub on as well. Local support has made the pub what it is. We would like to thank all our customers and Camra members for their support.”
The seafront pub, which was built in 1849, has also enjoyed a makeover under Richard and Jo’s ownership, with new windows that make the most of its sea views and a new sign.
Meanwhile, the Neath Port Talbot sub branch voted the Pontardawe Inn, Pontardawe, as its pub of the year for its good range of real ales and community focus. Runners up were the Ancient Briton, Penycae, and the Borough Arms, Neath.
The Pilot of Mumbles, 726 Mumbles Rd, Swansea, Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4EL. Tel 07897 895511.
The Pontardawe Inn, 123 Herbert St, Pontardawe, Glamorgan SA8 4ED. Tel 01792 830791.