We’re now well over halfway through the Dog-friendly Pub Awards for the second year running and we’re super excited to welcome back a veteran of the Awards’ judging panel, please put your paws together for Ed Bedington. As editor of the Morning Advertiser, the UK’s top publication for publicans (try saying that five times fast!), it’s fair to say he’s something of an expert when it comes to sniffing out excellent pubs.
Our 2017 judging panel will be tasked with the enviable task choosing the National winner from our shortlist of 12 regional winners. Do you know a pub that deserves a place on the shortlist? Give it your vote here and then be sure to round up some more support from all your friends by sharing the love on Facebook and Twitter.
We sat down over a beer with Ed (it’s work, honest!) to find out what makes him tick, and to discover what’s going to sway his judge’s vote this year.
DogBuddy: If you could match your personality to a dog breed, what would you pick?
Ed Bedington: I’d have to pick a Border Collie, after all, they’re intelligent, good looking, hairy, and most of all, self deluded!
DB: Can you help settle this one for us? Red wine or white wine? Or… rose?
EB: I love all kinds of wine, so all three, please! Ideally not in one glass, though…
DB: There’s lots of doom and gloom in the media about the plight of traditional UK pubs, is it really all that bad?
EB: Not if you’re running a good pub! There are lots of challenges for people to deal with, but if you’re making the most of every opportunity, and treating your customers, and their dogs, well then you’re going in the right direction.
DB: Last year, we asked you to settle the lager vs. ale battle once and for all, you quite rightly pointed out we’d forgotten craft beer! What are some of your favourite craft beers around?
EB: That’s a tough one – there’s so many great beers out there! I’m enjoying some great American Pale Ales that are doing the rounds, and we’re seeing some superb new craft stouts and porters coming onto the market – which is no bad thing.
DB: As something of a pub expert, what makes the difference between a great pub and an “okay” pub?
EB: That’s an easy one – dogs! A great pub is one in which offers a great choice of food and drinks, makes every customer, two-legged and four-legged alike, feel like they’re the most important person to walk through the door and you never want to leave. It’s all about experience in pubs these days, and pubs that offer the kind of environment which fosters great times for their dog and human customers are the ones that really stand out. Plus, everyone loves the resident pub dog.
DB: Having seen the calibre the finalists in the Dog-friendly Pub Awards last year, what are you looking for this year for a dog-friendly pub to really stand out as a potential national champion?
EB: That would be telling! Overall, I think we’re looking for pub operators that go above and beyond for their dog-owning customers. Those that really push the boat out and give us something that makes us think, “wow, that’s a great idea”.
DB: If you could design your perfect relaxing weekend pub visit, what would it look like?
EB: A lovely long countryside or city park stroll with a dog in tow, followed by good beers, good food, a roaring fire if it’s winter, beautiful gardens without wasps in the summer!
Thanks, Ed! We’ll be hearing from Ed again soon, in just a matter of weeks, in fact, when we reveal the winner of the 2017 Dog-Friendly Pub Awards.
Do you know a pub that goes above and beyond in its service of our canine friends? Make sure your favourite pooch welcoming pub gets your vote!