AN OLD Town pub is celebrating after being named in a list of the best 200 locals in the country.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) released the list of pubs from all over the country and The Hop Inn has made the cut.

Located on Devizes Road, the pub focuses on cask ales with the aim of introducing customers to something different than they would perhaps have elsewhere.

The owner, Jason Putt, is delighted and says it shows there is a market for real ales.

He said: “It is obviously very pleasing to be named on the list.

“We made it into the Good Beer Guide last year so to be named on the Best Local list having been open for just 18 months is extremely gratifying.

“I opened to really challenge people to drink something different to the regular drinks which are advertised on television and I think we have achieved that.”

Despite only trading for a year and a half, The Hop Inn has already served more than 800 different cask ales to customers.

One of the main reasons for its success is that the pub is a freehold. This means Jason has no link to a brewer and so has the freedom to offer a variety of ales.

He said: “Since we opened people have really embraced the real ales and what we are trying to achieve. I now get people coming in asking me what they should have to drink.

“There is a misconception that the market is entirely about several branded products but this is not the case.

“We are totally free of any form of tie, meaning we have that freedom to bring in beers and showcase lots of different products. I think it is this level of variety which customers find very attractive.”

Hans Hoffbauer, chairman of the Swindon CAMRA branch, said The Hop Inn was one of the bright points in the local pub industry.

He said: “The Hop Inn is a revelation and goes against the current perception that things are very gloomy in the pub industry.

“To be so successful in such a short period of time shows it is possible to make a go of things “Probably its biggest selling point is the marvellous range of beers they have and every time you go in there it is a surprise, which is clearly what the punters want.”

“They do a lot to support local brewers but you can also get beers from much further a field.”