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Denver bar continues its winning streak after winning Norfolk Cider Pub of the Year title

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A bar at Denver has just added another trophy to its collection by being named Norfolk CAMRA's Cider Pub of the Year 2019.

The Blackstone Engine Bar at Denver Windmill has maintained its winning streak having won the same accolade last year.

It is the brewery tap for the Two Rivers Brewery, which is owned by John Nash, and is located at the confluence of the River Great Ouse and the Old Bedford River near Denver Sluice.

The brewery has won numerous Norfolk CAMRA awards for its beers including Champion Bottled Beer of Norfolk Gold in 2018 in the bitter category and Silver in the overall beer category.

Previous Gold awards have been given to Porters Pride (2013) and Norfolk Stoat (2016). A seasonal special Happy Hopper, green hopped ale, received Silver in the Speciality category (2018) and is set to win Bronze for Denver Diamond this year.

Pictured in the Blackstone Engine Bar, are owner John Nash and bar manager Andy Stonach next to the exposed line shaft of the oil engine. (7819365)
Pictured in the Blackstone Engine Bar, are owner John Nash and bar manager Andy Stonach next to the exposed line shaft of the oil engine. (7819365)

Delighted with the brewery's success, John describes its location as "arguably one of the most tranquil and scenic areas in Norfolk".

He said: "The brewery was established in this idyllic setting in January 2012 with the aim of bringing the art and science of brewing back to the Downham area.

"It produces small batches of high quality traditional real ales, bitters, milds, porters and stouts from the finest regional produce and uses environmentally responsible approaches in its beer production.

"Only one year after trading, two of the brewery's ales, Hares Hopping and Porters Pride featured in the CAMRA Good Bottled Beer Guide. This was unprecedented for such a newly established brewery as the beers were up against several thousand other beers."

The Two Rivers Brewery is the site owner of Denver windmill and has worked with the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust for the past two years to restore the premises. The trust restored the Grade II windmill tower, while the brewery worked on the restoration and commercial development of the rest of the site, which includes the Blackstone Engine Bar, which opened in June 2017.

Said John: "Some pubs only have nostalgic memorabilia on the walls, however this bar has something different. The bar is in a machine shop where parts were made for the atomic bomb during the Second World War and also parts to support early atomic research at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge under the guidance of Sir John Cockcroft.

"The exposed line shaft of the Blackstone oil engine, from which the bar derives its name, is next to the bar and other workshop equipment dating from as early as the 1800s are on display in the bar."

The Millstone Tearooms reopened in February at the windmill site which is also home to Hairmill hairdresser's and a crafts shop.

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