On Monday 17 June a large crowd gathered at the Three Horseshoes pub in Cranleigh to witness the presentation of the Pub of the Year award 2024 from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) East and Mid Surrey branch.  It was the first time the pub had received such and award and it was, in the words of landlord Peter Slinger, “A moment of great pride”.

Peter, seen receiving the award surrounded by his management team, went on to tell the room how he had been inspired by the Achievement award the Branch had given him five years ago to try his hardest to become Pub of the Year and he went on to explain the three major changes he had made in pursuit of his target.  He said he had created a new keg cellar to enable him to devote his main cellar to Real Ales, that he had negotiated a “free of tie” deal with his landlords which now allows him to buy in a vast variety of beers and that he has now set a policy of serving clear beer in the face of a trend towards “naturally hazy” beer.

Peter stated that he could understand why people would expect craft keg beers to be hazy because, if you chill ales to the level required of keg beers (the cold and fizzy variety), you will always get a chill haze.  However, he was convinced that ales taste less refreshing than they should when they are tainted by particles of yeast in suspension and so, when he receives a “naturally hazy” beer in his pub, he fines it himself to make it clear.  He also explained that vegans, who won’t drink beers which contain traditional finings, can now relax as brewers start to replace isinglass finings with vegan-friendly ones.

In celebration of the Award the pub had held an ale festival over the previous weekend which had included beers from local brewers Dorking Brewery, Surrey Hiis, Crafty, Firebird, Langham and Kissing Gate as well as others from Downlands, Oakham, Woodfordes, Roosters, Vale, Harveys, Tring, Triple fff and Moorhouses.    The pub’s standard range is six ales, all of different styles, colours and strengths with more dark beers in the colder months and more pale ones in the summer.  The pub itself is full of history, beams and open fires with a garden containing a vast tree-house playground and three huts where folks can hold their own private parties.  Dogs are very welcome.