It is second time round for the pub and a first for the landlord and landlady, Anna and Ralf Dyson-Edge. The Alex was Derby CAMRA pub of the year in 1994, when it went on to win that year’s East Midlands title.
Speaking to the Derby Telegraph, Derby CAMRA chairman Gareth Stead said: “The competition was particularly tough this year as all the pubs were very good. Both the Alex and runner up, the Royal Oak, are more than worthy winners, where good beer and atmosphere are guaranteed.”
Ralf says he was aware of voting taking place; hoping early on that his was one of seven pubs on the shortlist drawn up by members of Derby CAMRA. “I am gobsmacked at the result,” he says. “I’m proud of the whole team. All their hard work has paid off.
“Now we go forward to be considered in the Derbyshire pub of the year contest,” he says.
Derby CAMRA judge pubs on quality, atmosphere, style and décor, service and welcome, community focus, sympathy with the aims of CAMRA and value for money.
“That’s a lot to get right,” says Ralf, “but by meeting those criteria to the best of our ability, I like to think our customers – whether they be regulars and members of the local community, passing rail travellers, or away fans at the Derby match – get a better experience of Derby.”
Castle Rock’s managing director, Colin Wilde, says he is ‘chuffed to bits’. “Ralf and Anna have breathed new life into the Alexandra Hotel. Their wonderful efforts show that the traditional pub model is alive and kicking when the beer is kept well, the premises kept comfortable and the people running it are exceptional. Well done.”