Rochdale 'boozer' The Baum crowned Britain's best pub

The Baum
Image caption The Baum has "old world charm", CAMRA said

A "traditional boozer" in Greater Manchester has been crowned the best pub in Britain by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale).

The Baum in Rochdale won the annual competition for its range of beers and warm welcome, officials said.

The building, next door to the Co-operative's Pioneers Museum, was converted from a hardware store 30 years ago.

Owner Simon Crompton said their success is due to "keeping tradition going".

Mr Crompton joined the pub as a barman in 1993, became the manager a year later and bought the pub with his wife Heidi in 2005, two days after having their first child.

'Proud feeling'

He said: "Winning the title is the gold medal, we can't stop smiling.

Image caption Simon and Heidi Crompton's pub beat three other finalists to the title

"We are about keeping tradition going, so we run a traditional boozer - people don't go out every night any more, so we try to make it a bit of a treat to come here.

"We don't have a juke box, just background music, because coming here is about people getting together."

Mrs Crompton added: "It's a proud feeling for us and the staff and everyone.

"We are dedicated to the buy local, shop local initiative, always willing to support independent businesses and value their support."

CAMRA's Good Beer Guide describes The Baum as: "A split-level hostelry with old world charm next door to the world's first Co-operative store."

CAMRA pubs director Julian Hough said: "This close to town pub has a winning formula which is well supported by customers."

The other finalists in the competition were last year's winners the Bridge End Inn in Ruabon, North Wales, Conqueror Alehouse in Ramsgate, Kent, and Tom Cobley Tavern in Spreyton, Devon.

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