Passion and love drives award-winning Lincoln pub

Putting passion and love into what they do is the key to the success of a Lincoln pub which has already won three awards this year.

The Strugglers Inn on Westgate in Lincoln, which has been a licensed pub since 1830, beat off competition from 2,700 pubs around the country to achieve the accolade for best for cask ale in national awards in March.

The walls and ceiling of The Strugglers Inn are decorated with pump clips. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Just a week later the pub known by many as The Struggs was named as the Lincoln CAMRA Pub of the Year 2019.

A third award came the pub’s way in June when it was named as the CAMRA Lincolnshire Pub of the Year 2019, so it will now go forward to the East Midlands round of the competition.

After all these recent awards, The Lincolnite spoke to landlady Anna to find out what is her secret to success after 10 and a half years at the helm.

Anna has been the landlady at The Strugglers Inn for 10 and a half years. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Anna said: “It is a little gem in the uphill area of Lincoln. It is a community pub, almost like a village pub. We all share each others’ love and sorrow, it’s like a family.

“We do what we do with a passion and love. We love to provide the customers with the best we can and out of that has grown these awards. Without the customers input and support, continuously drinking our lovely beer, there wouldn’t be any awards.

“It is a little bit unbelievable, but it is an amazing accolade to have been given. We feel very over the moon about it all.”

The beer garden at The Strugglers Inn. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Over the years changes have been made to the pub, including adding more hand pumps. There are now 10 pumps, three of which are for regular beers and seven change all the time.

The walls and ceiling are decorated with pump clips, which Anna said is a big talking point among the customers.

Raising a glass after winning three awards already in 2019. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Music is another important part of life at The Strugglers Inn, with live bands playing on Saturdays and Sundays including local group Hey Dude, who always “fill the place”.

Anna added: “Music is a very important part and people love to come in here for it. Strangers don’t feel strange for very long here.”

Anna ran The Cornhill Vaults pub from 1982 until its closure in 2002. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Anna has always had a passion for running pubs, starting with The Cornhill Vaults in Lincoln where she had “wonderful memories”. She ran the pub from 1982 until it closed in 2002.

She then went on to run The White Horse Inn, also known as Nellies, in Beverley for seven years before taking over at The Strugglers Inn 2009, where she still proudly remains behind the bar today.

Anna previously ran The White Horse Inn, also known as Nellies, in Beverley for seven years. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Although she is delighted with the recent success, Anna is determined not to rest on her laurels.

She said: “The plan for the future is to continue to maintain the standard we’ve got to.

“You can easily slip off so we need to continue to maintain this high standard and care for the customers. We will strive to continue to provide beers from around the country and support the local ale brewerys.”