Flying Horse Hotel named best pub in borough

Date published: 08 March 2022

The multi-award-winning Flying Horse Hotel in Rochdale town centre has been named the best pub in the borough by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

One of the town’s oldest pubs, the Packer Street venue won the accolade of the best pub in the borough, awarded by the Rochdale, Oldham and Bury branch of CAMRA.

A CAMRA favourite, the popular pub previously won the local CAMRA branch award each year between 2016 and 2020. And if that wasn’t enough, it was even named Greater Manchester's Pub of the Year two years running in 2018 and 2019, putting the venue amongst the top 16 in the UK.

This year, the Rochdale, Oldham and Bury branch named a pub the best in each borough – as voted for by CAMRA members – before choosing an overall winner, which went to the Fox & Pine in Oldham.

Trade at ‘The Flyer’ started in 1691, but it endured a spell renamed as The Sports before landlord Ben Boothman took the reins, seeing potential to transform the town centre building into a destination for drinkers, diners and overnight visitors, as well as an ambition to become the town's premier free live music establishment. 

The Packer Street pub is also a vital supporter of town centre initiatives including Rochdale Food and Drink Festival and the Feel Good Festival.

The pub first made CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide in 2002. It has since doubled the number of its real ales to twelve handpumps, with traditional ciders, craft keg and a selection of foreign beers.

Ben said: “We just want to thank all our regular customers for their continued support and I would like to thank the hard-working staff at the Flyer for maintaining a perfect cellar and keeping the selection fresh.’’

Rochdale, Oldham and Bury Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale said it was “delighted” that the Flying Horse won its Rochdale area Pub of the Year award.

Speaking about it, local CAMRA Chairman Peter Alexander said: “I am very pleased that the hard work of Ben Boothman and his team at the Flyer has been recognised by our members' vote. These awards are always closely contested and the high standards, great choice of real ale and cider and the warm welcome at the Flying Horse was key to their success. Congratulations to a very worthy winner.”

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