Harry’s Bar is top of the hops

Cheers: Staff Jack Messenger, Louise Waters and Lou Clarke at Harry's Bar.
Cheers: Staff Jack Messenger, Louise Waters and Lou Clarke at Harry's Bar.

A popular real ale tavern in Wakefield has claimed its second gong in as many weeks after being named the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) pub of the year.

It is the third time that Harry’s Bar, on Westgate, has claimed the real ale enthusiasts’ accolade and comes hot on the heels of being voted the Wakefield Express pub of the year by readers.

Landlady Louise Waters said: “It was a tough competition this year, we were up against Beer Exchange, Black Rock, Fernandes – three really good real ale pubs so I’m quite surprised.

“I’d just local to say thank you to all our customers for supporting us and for continually coming in.

“They’re a good bunch, we don’t get any trouble , the staff are great and it’s a collective effort. It’s not just me or the beer, it’s the whole thing. I’m really proud of everyone and thankful.”

Miss Waters has noticed the resurgence in popularity of real ale in the city over her 11-year tenure at Harry’s.

She said: “Wakefield has massively changed and the real ale, keg beer and speciality beer appeal is still growing.

“I’ve noticed a lot more places serving it in the city but for us it has always been the same – we are a real ale pub.

“I like to keep as many local ales on a possible – the likes of Five Towns at Outwood, and we get ales from Ossett, Horbury and Hemsworth. We keep it local but we try to get different ones in as well.”

Wakefield CAMRA chairman Albert Bradbury said: “The winner is primarily decided on the beer quality but other things are taken into account like the atmosphere, staff and comfort of the surroundings. And Harry’s has all of those things.

“The contest was closely run and the Black Rock came very near.

“It’s just the way Harry’s looks after the beer and the welcome you get in when you walk in. It could be daunting for someone new to real ale with six or eight beers available and it’s nice to have someone who has the time to explain it to you.”

It was the first time that the pub – named after Wakefield Trinity and Great Britain rugby league player Harry Murphy – won the Express award, having come close in recent years.