Railway Arms in Downham Market top cider pub in the country

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Published at 2:18pm 16th November 2016. (Updated at 11:17am 17th November 2016)

Following on from the success of being selected as CAMRA’s (Campaign for Real Ale) Regional Cider Pub of the Year, the Railway Arms at Downham Market was judged to be one of the best four cider pubs in country in the National Cider Pub of the year 2016 competition.

The railway used to regularly sell 7 or 8 ciders and perries and, when possible, include local products amongst their range but, unfortunately, circumstances which have arisen since the competition was judged mean the pub has had to close.

The Kings’s Arms at Shouldham have kindly offered to host a presentation so that we can present the award for the Railway Arms being a finalist in the National Cider Pub of the Year 2016 to Ian and Callum Pinches, who ran the Railway Arms.

Ian, Lesley and Callum Pinches said

“Knowing the company that The Railway Arms has kept in CAMRA's annual Cider Pub of the Year competition over the years, we have always been (and continue to be so) much humbled by the evident high regard that our little micro-pub has been viewed by those who have undertaken the many and various unannounced visits to us.

This latest award is for us of course tinged with more than a hint of sadness as we have unfortunately had to close within the past few weeks following the collapse of difficult negotiations with our landlords agent over a proposed rent increase that was for us unaffordable.

On the upside however - what a way to bow out - being viewed as one of the best four Cider Pubs in the country for the third time in four years - what can we say other than a huge thank you; to our staff, to CAMRA (all involved from our local Branch upwards), to our customers who came from near and far, to our suppliers (special mention should be made of the Downham Cider Company, Cromwell Cider, The Small Beer Company and Adnams - all of whom have been so supportive and have produced or supplied products of the highest quality) - and to the very many people who have offered such kind words over the past few days and weeks.”

Andrea Briers, Chair of CAMRA’s Cider and Perry Committee and East Anglia Regional Director said:

“The Railway Arms was a worthy winner of all their awards and it is very sad that they have had to close.  The loss of this very special pub leaves a large gap in the cider and perry market in West Norfolk.”