The Plough at 38 has made its debut in the Good Beer Guide for 2022, one of 24 pubs in and around Oxford, Abingdon and Witney to be recognised for their excellence by the Campaign for Real Ale.
This historic building in Cornmarket, Oxford, which was a pub for 300 years before becoming a shop in the 1920s, re-opened as a pub in December 2018, with beers supplied by XT brewery of Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire.
The pub was formerly an Austin Reed menswear store.
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It is the only completely new entry for 2022, although The Grapes in Oxford’s George Street and the Abingdon Arms in the village of Beckley return to the guide.
Dave Richardson, spokesman for the Oxford branch of CAMRA, said: “The Plough at 38 is a particularly welcome addition to the guide because it is a relatively new yet historic pub, which had been trading for little over a year before the first closure enforced by the pandemic in March 2020.
“But in that time it won a reputation for quality beer from XT brewery and its Animal subsidiary, so was well placed to build on that when re-opening was permitted from July last year.
“The addition of outside seating on Cornmarket Street and St Michael’s Street helped it to trade through the difficult times and restrictions that followed, and outside space is still available today for those who prefer it.
“Chris Mulhall and his team have done a great job at the Plough at 38 in very difficult circumstances, and it is great to welcome his pub to the Good Beer Guide.
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“It is also great to see The Grapes, on George Street, back in the guide.
“This small, characterful Victorian pub is the only traditional hostelry on a street full of large bars, restaurants and take-aways, and West Berkshire Brewery has done a good job since taking it over.
“Welcome back also to The Abingdon Arms in the village of Beckley, and let’s not overlook the fine achievement of pubs that appear in the guide year after year, because of the consistently good quality of their traditional cask ales.”
These include The Masons Arms in Headington (in every edition of the guide since 2005) and The Rose & Crown in North Oxford, which has been included every year except one since 1999.
“All pubs that have made it into the guide for 2022 should be congratulated, after keeping up the quality of their beer and trading their way through the most difficult circumstances imaginable in 2020-21,” added Mr Richardson.
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“The guide covers around 4,500 pubs nationwide and over 1,900 breweries, with the number of breweries reaching a new record despite the pandemic. “Overall the picture for pubs and breweries is one of resilience, which is very much reflected on a local level.”