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Aug. 20, 2018

#011 The George and Dragon community pub in Hudswell - an interview with the landlord Stuart Miller

#011 The George and Dragon community pub in Hudswell - an interview with the landlord Stuart Miller

Welcome to the Inside Yorkshire Podcast, a podcast full of stories and tales from the people of Yorkshire. On today’s episode, Susan sits down with Stuart Miller, the landlord of the George and Dragon pub. The pub is community-owned and has won a good deal of awards, as well as national publicity and attention. Stuart and the employees and volunteers who keep the pub and connected shop running are full of passion and community spirit.

Key Takeaways:

  • The George and Dragon is the first community-owned pub in Yorkshire
    • After the original pub closed down in 2008 and no one was buying the property, the villagers decided to band together and buy the pub themselves.
    • It opened in 2010, along with a connected shop staffed entirely by volunteers that also includes a small library service.
  • The pub has enjoyed great success as it has grown.
    • The Geroge and Dragon won National Pub of the Year in the first year they qualified, and have also won Yorkshire Pub of the Year for three years in a row.
    • The pub has been listed in The Guardian’s, “50 Best Places for a Sunday Lunch.”
    • Prince Charles has also paid a visit to the pub.
  • Stuart emphasizes a focus on quality and community connection.
    • He’s very picky about choosing high-quality beers and having a well-curated selection. He’s also working on creating his own microbrewery.
    • It’s also important that the staff know the beers well so that they can help explain the different types to customers and steer them towards a beer they’ll enjoy.
    • The pub has hosted the village’s Beer Cider and Cheese Festival for several years now.
    • People who are interested can still invest in the pub and buy shares although there is a bit of a waiting list now after all of the publicity it has received. 

Best Moments:

  • “The villagers got together and decided that it was a shame that the heart of the village wasn’t there anymore...and they got together and decided they wanted to buy it as a community.”
  • “Yes, I think that is one of the blessings of living around here, the community spirit.”
  • “You need to be visible, especially to the community, so we want to be able to have a very welcoming sort of taproom where people can just pop in and try the beers.”

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About the Host:

Susan has been living in Yorkshire for over 30 years. She is passionate about the county she has adopted as her home and she never ceases to be amazed at the wealth of talent ‘Inside Yorkshire’ and the tales that people have to tell.

About the Guest:

This week we talk to Stuart Miller, the landlord at the George and Dragon pub. This pub has achieved notoriety for all the right reasons. It is the first community-owned pub and has attracted a lot of publicity as a result. Stuart explains how the pub was reopened in 2010 after funding was raised by locals to form an IPS Cooperative, for the benefit of the community.

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