This site is easier to read in landscape format on mobiles.

Lancaster Real-ale prize pub seeks new champions

John Freeman
An award-winning Lancaster pub, famous for its wide selection of cask ales and a friendly atmosphere, is on the hunt for a food-loving Lancashire couple to safeguard its future as a cask-ale mecca.

Situated on St. George's Quay by the River Lune the George and Dragon is seeking an enthusiastic entrepreneurial individual or couple to take over from successful outgoing licensees Kye and Ian Lloyd, who are relocating for family reasons.

The popular community local, owned by the pub group Admiral Taverns, was awarded the first ever Most Improved Pub Award (MIPA) last year by the Lunesdale Branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale). The award is given to pubs that have demonstrated dramatic improvement in areas such as facilities, drinking environment, atmosphere and ale quality.

Real ale is currently the fastest-growing drinks category in pubs and is becoming increasingly popular with women and young drinkers. Despite some well-known challenges in the pub industry, real ale pubs are thriving. Figures from CAMRA showed that in 2006, only 37 per cent of drinkers nationally had tried real ale. That figure now stands at 52 pr cent.

Admiral Taverns is hopeful that the George and Dragon’s reputation as the premier real ale destination for the people of Lancaster will ensure it is able to attract a high-calibre tenant to drive it forward.

“The George and Dragon is a remarkable pub which has a strong local following," enthuses Admiral’s business development manager Stuart Watt. "It has a friendly atmosphere and attracts a wide range of people; accountants, students, builders, and everyone socialises and gets on together.

“We are looking for an ambitious individual or couple who have experience of food and cask-ale and who are familiar with the local area.

“The George and Dragon is a success story and we want someone to come on board who shares Admiral’s vision for the pub which is to ensure it remains the heartbeat of the Lancaster real ale movement.”

“Everyone at CAMRA is very sorry to lose Kye and Ian and we wish them every success in the future," says Julian Holt from Lunesdale CAMR. "The George & Dragon offers a wonderful opportunity to an incoming tenant thanks to what has already been achieved there. It is a real community local in an attractive location, with a loyal clientele.

“People drink there because the beer is consistently good and there is a great atmosphere. It was the natural choice for the branch's Most Improved Pub Award.”

• Those who are interested in taking on the George and Dragon can contact Kelly Dunne, part of the Admiral recruitment team, on 01244 505491