Huddersfield’s Pub Of The Year is one which has reinvented itself over the last couple of years … and sponsors an orchestra.

The top accolade from The Campaign For Real Ale has been won by The County while Huddersfield’s Cider Pub of the Year award goes to The Sportsman for the third year in a row.

Both winners will now go through to the regional stage of the competition which will ultimately lead to a national winner in each category.

The two pubs are run by the Dewsbury-based Beerhouses group, a small pub group with six venues in West Yorkshire and Stalybridge.

The County, managed by Amber Duffee, has completely reinvented itself over the last two years when it was taken over by the Beerhouses group. The pub always has a wide range of real and craft ales that rotate regularly as well as live music, pop up food events and open mic nights.

Nestled next to Huddersfield Town Hall on Princess Street, The County sponsors Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra.

Amber, who trained under John Fletcher, manager at The Sportsman for many years before stepping up to manage The County in March 2022, said: “The award has shown us, as staff, that all the events, beer choices and changes we’ve made have been noticed.

“You don’t always get a chance to step back to really judge whether people love what we’re doing, as they appear to, so to get an award shows that the effort has been worth it and CAMRA has recognised it.

The County manager Amber Duffee (right) with bar team member Anais Fisher

“We’re keen to build our knowledge and all staff are investing their own time to create beers with breweries to expand our knowledge and strengthen friendships with these breweries so we can be even better at sharing our knowledge in what we sell.

“All the staff are super passionate in everything and go out their way to create the best experiences, the best events, the best food and the best service so we’re just thankful to be noticed and appreciated.”

The Sportsman at the corner of St John’s Road and Fitzwilliam Street is a real heritage pub in Huddersfield. Built in 1930, as an ‘improved pub’, it was listed at Grade II in 2019. These types of pubs had several rooms, offering food and leisure activities to reduce the emphasis on drinking alcohol.

The Sportsman, a Beerhouses pub for 15 years, is well-known by Huddersfield Town football supporters as it’s not too far from the stadium and many ale-trailers have ventured around the corner from the railway station to include it.

John said: “It’s a real honour to receive this award from Huddersfield CAMRA and we are proud to once again be recognised for championing real full-juice cider.

“Cider is a fundamental part of our traditional drinking heritage but in recent years new producers have brought a new way of thinking about cider. What is happening in the cider world is similar to what was going on with craft beer 10 years ago and it’s very exciting.

“This is the third year in a row we have been voted Huddersfield CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year, but we’ve not rested on our laurels. Indeed, we ran a very successful Summer of Cider promotion last year, encouraging customers to try different ciders. We continue to seek out the UK’s best real ciders while supporting our local cider producers.”

The pub’s cider menu always features cider from Huddersfield’s Udder’s Orchard and their cider maker, Dave Kendall-Smith, will be coming down to The Sportsman on Friday, April 19, to host a cider tasting.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.