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Cocktail spirit bar wins top award at pub ‘Oscars’

PUBLISHED: 12:28 12 September 2018

Tim Blake with The Stillery's Best Spirits Bar/Pub award from the Great British Pub Awards. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Tim Blake with The Stillery's Best Spirits Bar/Pub award from the Great British Pub Awards. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Archant

Thrilled, suprised and delighted were just some of the emotions of winning a top pub “Oscar” for the owners of a cocktail spirits bar.

The Stillery's Best Spirits Bar/Pub award from the Great British Pub Awards. Picture: RUSSELL COOKThe Stillery's Best Spirits Bar/Pub award from the Great British Pub Awards. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

But the accolade has firmly put the Stillery, in Bury St Edmunds, firmly on the map.

Nestled upstairs in The Snug, in St John’s Streeet, it came away with being hailed the Best Spirits Bar/Pub in the country at the prestigious Great British Pub Awards, held at the Royal Lancaster, in London, last week.

It beat the Fiesta Havana in Chester, The Mad Hatter in Oxford, Phoenix Artist Club in Soho, London, and Ye Old Sun Inn in Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, to the title in the event which is recognised as “the Oscars of the Pub Industry”.

Tim Blake, one of the four owners of the bar, said: “Winning the award was a surprise and a little bit of a shock but we are absolutely thrilled to have won it.

“The competition was good and the other bars were good but what we do is different from the others and it is the fact that we are trying to take a different view on spirits and how people drink them and how we can try and engage with people a little bit more in what we do.

“We offer an educational side to it which is important and I think that was the piece that did it. We have got such a knowledgeable consumer base that can self evolve. People can look at the internet, they can buy books when you think about how many cocktail books there are available.

“I remember how I used to make cocktails and remember getting my first cocktail book which was written in 1862.

“We try and engage a little bit further with consumers a bit more.”

The event was sponsored by Diagio, the British multinational alcoholic beverages company and one of the world’s largest distillers, and Tim added: “For us we’re quite small and we don’t have that kerbside appeal other pubs and bars do. We’re not a big name and we’ve had some very organic growth.

“We’ve not been flashing neon lights and our opening hours are less than traditional but what we are doing is different to what everyone else is doing.

“Frankly it’s nice to see the industry say that this is a nice way to target consumers, encourage them and have the courage to do it, so for that reason it gives us that bit of exposure that we need to have.”

The Stillery, which has been operational for two years, claims to be a “speak-easy”-style cocktail bar which is passionate about serving a range of top quality drinks and making their own as it has its distillery on site. It is open Friday and Saturday evenings.

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