THEY might have been running Pebbles Bar in Watchet for just ten months, but Ben and Tanya Allen are already proving to be a big hit, and not just with their customers.
Having already secured CAMRA’S prestigious Cider Pub of the Year award for Somerset, they have now gone on to win the title for the whole of the South-West.
Ben said: “We can’t really believe we’ve won it to be honest – we’re a bit gobsmacked – and it’s just amazing and makes everything we’ve done worthwhile.
“We’ve only been running the pub for ten months – we used to come in quite a lot and we both play instrument, so we’d take part in the music nights.”
Both Ben and Tanya quit their jobs to take up running the bar after its owner, Gerry Lowe, decided to retire.
Ben, 38, said: “I don’t think many people realise how much goes into running a pub – we’ve improved some stuff, but we’re always looking to improve.
“We’re a community bar – people come in with their dogs, and we even looked after a cat once.
“We’re different because of the types of alcohol we serve, and we try to stock as much local produce as we can to help our community – it’s all about the quality.“
We serve more than 20 different ciders, including draught perry and local apple juices.”
The pair found out they had won the prestigious award last month, but they will not receive it until August.
Tanya, 44, a former mental health nurse, said: “I think someone must have nominated us.
“You don’t even know they’re coming or that you’re even in line for the award.
“It’s a bit like a mystery shop and we just couldn’t believe it when we found out we’d won.
“We want to keep making everything we sell as organic and good quality as possible.”