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"It's all consuming, but I love it! We have something special here"

Alan returned to the pub, a stone’s throw from Derby’s railway station on Station Terrace, and set about proving them wrong. It’s not easy turning a failing pub into a successful one. “But it’s not rocket science either,” says Alan. They’d done it before. You start at the beginning, he says. You get the basics right.

Within a year, The Brunswick Inn was unrecognisable. The Brunswick didn’t just win Pub of the Year 12 months after Alan took over. It won the coveted award the following year, too. It’s the only boozer to win the crown back-to-back.

The pub now serves food and has won back its place in The Good Pub Guide. It now offers 25 different ales and was awarded the 'Best for Cider' title at the Great British Pub Awards 2019.

A former retail manager, Alan has worked in pubs now for 13 years, “I love it. I work long hours - six days a week, 14 hours a day - but my work is my life. It’s all consuming. We’ve moved around a bit - but I think that’s it for us now. I think we’ve found our pub.”

And the chap from CAMRA, the one who said he didn’t think they’d be able to turn the Brunswick around, is now something of a regular.

“He comes in quite a lot. Whenever I see him, I like to remind him of that first meeting. ‘Remember that time I said I would turn this pub around and you all laughed at me?’ I say.”

The man from CAMRA doesn’t know where to look.

And Alan tilts his head back and laughs. It is the unmistakable sound of a man laughing last, laughing longest.
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