The Kings Head in Billingshurst has been named ‘TEA Drinkers’ Pub of the Year 2020′ after receiving the highest number of votes in a competition run by Surrey brewery Hogs Back during January.
The competition was part of Hogs Back’s ‘Support Your Local, Go TEA Total’ campaign, designed to encourage more people to support their local during January – the quietest month of the year for the pub trade. The brewer’s best-selling beer is TEA, or Traditional English Ale.
More than 220 pubs took part in the campaign, displaying ‘Go TEA Total’ posters and beer mats, and encouraging drinkers the other side of the bar to vote for them. More than 130,000 people engaged with the campaign across social media.
As well as the TEA Drinkers’ Pub of the Year, the campaign also rewarded pubgoers through a weekly ‘TEA Total Thursday’ competition, giving brewery tours to those who ‘tagged’ the mates they were taking to the pub.
As winners, The Kings Head received vouchers for 20 people to take a tour of the Hogs Back Brewery, near Farnham, including a beer tasting, and a certificate for display in the pub. The pub has been owned for the past six years by Oonagh and Colin Ganley, who have stocked Hogs Back TEA from the start.
Oonagh said: “We’ve just had our busiest January ever and we’re sure the TEA Total campaign played a part, along with our new manager Paul Sweeney, who started just before Christmas.
“Customers were really interested in the campaign, asking us about the posters and beer mats, and the staff team were determined to win the TEA Drinkers’ Pub of the Year title, so it definitely created a great buzz in the pub. We’ll be looking forward to ‘Go TEA Total’ running again next year, and hoping to retain our title!”
Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson said: “The idea behind the ‘Support Your Local Go TEA Total’ campaign was to help pubs stay busier during January, so it’s great to hear that the Kings Head had a good month.
“We were thrilled with the response to the campaign from pubs and their customers, who clearly engaged with the campaign’s messages about banishing the January blues with a walk to the pub and a sociable pint of TEA.
“The Kings Head are worthy winners of the TEA Drinkers’ Pub of the Year title and we look forward to welcoming them to the brewery for their tour.”
Image: Staff and customers at the Kings Head including owner Oonagh Ganley (far left) celebrate the pub’s success with Hogs Back Brewery sales director Gordon Thompson (seated second from left)