Crown Wharf in Stone is the joint winner in the new build category in the Campaign for Real Ale's Pub Design Awards.
After a gap of some 40 years, the name of Joule’s has returned to the town, and to a site close to where its predecessor brewed until the 1970s.
The Market Drayton-based company, working with architect Jim Entwistle of Bleazard and Galletta, have taken their inspiration from historic canalside warehouses.
The new taphouse is a robust building, built of traditional brick, making much use of reclaimed materials and fittings in the interior fit-out. The large central hall continues the warehouse theme, with smaller, more intimate spaces opening off it with a more ‘pubby’ feel. An impressive staircase leads up to a first-floor function room and will eventually give access to a space which is being fitted up as a theatre.
Phillipa Machin, marketing manager at Joule’s Brewery said: We are thrilled that Camra and English Heritage has recognised Crown Wharf for its vision, ambition, and pub design. The project is the culmination of over years in planning and design.
“The pub celebrates all that is Joule’s – our story, our commitment to our community-driven pubs, and our passion for real pubs and pub culture, which is unique throughout the world. We couldn’t be more delighted that the judges have singled out Crown Wharf as one the best example of pub design in the UK, and it is a great honour to receive such a prestigious and rarely awarded prize.”
Andrew Murray, chairman of the Heart of Staffordshire branch of Camra, said: “We are delighted that Joule’s is back in Stone, where it all began over 200 years ago. The brewery clearly wanted to do something special and they have achieved that.
"The Crown Wharf is proving extremely popular and deservedly so. The interior is up to Joule’s usual high standard, it makes full advantage of its canal-side location and the theatre will be a real asset to the community. Plus of course, you can now be guaranteed to find a selection of Joule’s real ales in Stone.”
There were a total of six award winners and one highly commended pub across different categories, ranging from refurbishment to new build in this year’s awards. Crown Wharf shared its award with Brewpoint, Bedford.
Andrew Davison, chairman of Camra’s judging panel said: “Once again, the awards underline just how varied Britain’s pubs are, and we have had a hard job in selecting the winners from the entries submitted. Amongst the award winners we have new pubs, old pubs, urban pubs, rural pubs, elegant old inns, elaborate Victorian ‘gin palaces’, and inter-war pubs.
"There was a concern that pub owners would suspend work on their buildings during the pandemic, but quite a few seem to have taken the opportunity of enforced closure to plan and carry out repairs, restoration, and improvements.
“What links them is that their owners and their architects have responded to them as individual buildings, rather than applying a standard formula - the result is a fantastically varied selection of winners. We applaud them all, and trust that these revitalised buildings will be serving their communities for many years to come.”