Pubs in Huddersfield are today celebrating the award for serving the best pints in Britain.
The accolade has been bestowed on the town by Cask Marque – an independent quality assessor for cask conditioned ale.
Its team of undercover beer inspectors carried out 84 local pub visits, and checked about 250 individual pints for their temperature, appearance, aroma and taste.
Huddersfield averaged a near perfect 19.5 out of a possible 20, closely followed by Truro, Twickenham, Exeter and Northampton.
One pub with special reason to raise a glass is the Rat and Ratchet at Chapel Hill, Mild Pub of the Year 2007 and current holder of the Huddersfield Pub of the Year award.
Manager Sam Birkhead, 24, took over from the previous landlord three months ago and is pleased that the area has been recognised for its pint-pulling prowess.
He said: “There are a number of great pubs in and around Huddersfield and it is no great surprise that the town has been recognised with this award.
“I suppose as the town’s Pub of the Year we are leading the way, but as the cliché goes, you are only as good as your last pint.
“The Rat and Ratchet has a long history of good cask beer, and we want to continue that tradition.”
Cask conditioned ale differs from lagers and ‘smooth’ bitters because it is a living product that arrives at the pub not fully fermented.
Landlords play a key role in finishing the ale, using their skill, knowledge and experience to look after the beer and serving it when the quality is at its best.
Nationally Cask Marque assessed a total of 9,403 pubs and rated about 28,000 pints during its research throughout 2007.
Its inspectors say the perfect pint must be served between 11 and 13ºC in a spotlessly clean glass.
The beer should have good clarity, a fresh aroma and a refreshing aftertaste.
Cask Marque director Paul Nunny said: “For pub goers to really enjoy and appreciate their ale it has to be served just right.
“We were extremely impressed by the consistent quality of pints being pulled in Huddersfield and offer our congratulations to local publicans, many of whom have already gained Cask Marque accreditation.
“Cask ale is unique to British pubs and when it is well kept and well presented there is nothing else quite so refreshing and flavoursome.
“Get it wrong, however, and you run the risk of putting the consumer off for life.”