BOLTON’S real ale pubs will go head-to-head on Wednesday night for the title of the best in town.

Six have been shortlisted for the crown of pub of the year by the Bolton branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The shortlist:

  • The Bank Top Brewery Tap (Sharples)
  • The Dunscar Arms (Egerton)
  • House Without a Name (Harwood)
  • The Bowling Green (Horwich)
  • The Crown (Horwich)
  • The Victoria and Albert (Horwich)

CAMRA members will cast their votes when they meet at the Spinning Mule in Nelson Square at 8.15pm.

Landlord of Horwich’s Victoria and Albert pub in Lee Lane, Dave Pawson, is vying for his third consecutive Bolton pub of the year title.

“I think we have been so successful because we are a free house,” said Mr Pawson, aged 40.

“Real ale drinkers are getting beer no-one else gets – from micro breweries within a 15 to 20-mile radius of Bolton to beers from across the UK from places like Scotland and the Shetland Islands. We have seven casks on at once.”

The Victoria and Albert also finished third in the equivalent CAMRA award for Greater Manchester last year.

One of the V&A’s arch rivals is the Brewery Tap in Belmont Road at Astley Bridge one of two pubs in the Bolton area now run by the Bank Top brewery.


Bank Top boss Dave Sweeney said the pub’s nomination was evidence the micro brewery’s mission statement was working.

“Our aim was to create a pub for the locals for quality, affordable drinking,” he said.

“We want to bring back the community spirit in to pubs and to stop the unnecessary distraction of big screen TVs, gaming machines and juke boxes – a return to the pub as a place of conversation.

“I am sure the other pubs shortlisted are worthy of nomination.”

Other pubs up for the award include two other Horwich pubs – the Bowling Green in Lee lane and the Crown Hotel.

The Dunscar Arms in Darwen Road, Egerton and the House Without a Name in Harwood have also been nominated.

Do you agree with CAMRA's shortlist? What do you think is the best pub in Bolton? Tell us in the comments section below.