Magic Dragon Brewery Tap has won Chester & South Clwyd Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Branch pub of the year 2023 for North East Wales.
The bar, on Charles Street, opened in December 2019 and specialises in cask ale and craft beer traditionally produced in their micro-brewery at the Plassey Holiday Park. Thet also have guest beers from other breweries, as well as Magic Dragon’s own lager, Welsh spirits and ciders.
Pub of the Year is Camra’s top award and goes to the pub that they believe has been consistently the best over the previous year. The criteria for winning is not just for beer quality but for other factors too - value for money, diversity of customers, sympathy with CAMRA aims and community spirit for example.
It was a close-run competition this year between the Tap and last year's winner, The Bridge End Inn, Ruabon.
Richard Lever, owner of the bar and brewery said “This award is testament to our hard-working manager, Dave Sailsbury and his staff. It was a great shame Dave couldn’t be at the awards presentation, as he’s made this bar a success with his passion for craft beer, ale and live music.”
Chester & South Clwyd branch is quite unusual in having two Pub of the Year awards. Straddling the border means they are allowed to have both an English and a Welsh winner.
These then go forward into the voting for the Merseyside, Cheshire & North Wales Regional Pub of the Year. The winners from each region then progress into the national voting to decide the overall CAMRA Pub of the Year.