A SANDHURST pub is celebrating after it was named the region’s 'Pub of the Year 2014’.

The Rose and Crown, in High Street, was presented with the accolade during its four-day Spring Equinox Beer Festival, which took place from last Thursday to Sunday.

David Richards, chairman of Berkshire South East branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) handed the award to landlords Peter and Michelle Cozens after the pub beat off competition from four other shortlisted rivals – and almost 100 pubs in all.

Mr Cozens, who took over the pub with his wife in 2012, said: “It means a lot to us and shows the ideas we are trying to put in place are working. We have a great team spirit and we work on the atmosphere in the pub. We want to keep doing the same things and when we get good weather we’ll be out in the garden holding events.” He added the festival had been a success, with real ale fans gathering at the pub to sample a wide range of golden and pale ales, ciders and perries selected from a number of breweries across the country.

Mr Richards said: “We were not only looking for high beer quality, that goes without saying, but we were also looking at such factors as: the service and welcome that customers receive; the general atmosphere in the pub; and how well it reflects the aims of CAMRA, giving Real Ale a positive push. “Needless to say, the Rose and Crown scored highly in all these categories and is now officially the best pub out of a total of 95 in our branch area. In only 16 months, Michelle and Peter, aided in no small part by their dedicated staff have made the Rose and Crown a haven for real ale lovers and overall, a thoroughly nice pub to come to.” The Rose and Crown will now go forward to the countywide round of judging.

The runner up in the Berkshire South East branch competition was the Queen’s Head, in The Terrace, Wokingham, which will receive its award on May 8.