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Brum community local scoops top award

Added: Tuesday, June 2nd 2015

Keith and Diane Marsden from The Prince of Wales in Moseley, Birmingham -- a Good Beer Guide-listed pub -- have been named the 2015 Licensees of the Year by the British Institute of Innkeeping. The award recognises the country’s top performing licensee with a passion for the trade and is known as the industry’s most coveted award, with finalists undergoing a rigorous four-stage process. 

Bruce Cuthbert, BT Sport’s Director of Commercial Customers said, “We are delighted to have sponsored the industry’s most sought-after award in its 30th year. Keith and Diane are a great example of the excellence that exists within the licensed trade.” 

It is second time lucky for this year’s winners, Keith and Diane Marsden, who made it to the semi-finals in 2014. With Keith’s background in advertising and Diane’s former tour guide experience, the couple worked together to create a unique atmosphere at the traditional wet-led pub in the heart of Moseley village, which is known for its large beer garden that boasts a cocktail bar, alongside cigar and wine sheds.

The couple, who have worked in the industry for 10 years, have run the Spirit lease pub since 2007 and have a clear plan and strategy that permeates every team member.

Keith (pictured below) said: “This is the biggest accolade you can get, and receiving recognition from your peers to say that you are at the top of your game is a bonus."

“Winning the Licensee of the Year Award really is the icing on the cake, it means so much to us and our staff, we can’t wait to get the team together to share our success with them,” added Diane.

Sue Allen, Commercial and Membership Director of the BII, said, “There was an excellent standard of finalists this year, but Keith and Diane really went the extra mile. With innovative ideas, together with their sheer passion for our industry and their huge focus on their people, the couple really stood out from the crowd.”

The announcement was made at the BII Summer Event and Annual Lunch, which took place at the Artillery Garden of the Honourable Artillery Company, on 2 June. The 2015 Good Beer Guide lists the pub at 118 Alcester Road, B13 8EE, as serving Castle Rock Harvest Pale, Oakham Bishop's Farewell, Purity Mad Goose and Saddle Black, Sharp's Doom Bar, Timothy Taylor Landlord and guest beers. The pub is described as : "Serving cask ales since 1861, this three-bar pub is a real community local. The front bar boasts an authentic bar-back and there are two further bars at the rear, leading to a beer garden and cigar smoke room that boasts the largest collection of Cuban cigars in the country. Two ciders are on sale, alongside a good collection of whiskies and interesting cocktails. There is a TV for sport, a real fire and quiz night every Tuesday.

Other awards presented on the day were:
SABMiller Scholars Programme Award sponsored by SAB Miller - winner Emily Whewall 

Jeremy Allen Award sponsored by Poppleston Allen – winner Mark Thornhill 

Beer Sommelier of the Year Award sponsored by The Institute of Brewing & Distilling – winner Rod Jones 

Fundraiser of the Year sponsored by PubAid – winner Nigel & Sue Anstead 

Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Fuller, Smith & Turner – winner Neringa Markeviciute


Keith Marsden