Roar of approval for Black Lion’s success

Nikki Brodin and Stev Stipanovic accepted the award from Gavin Shuker MP
Nikki Brodin and Stev Stipanovic accepted the award from Gavin Shuker MP

The Black Lion in Leighton Buzzard has been voted the best pub in South Bedfordshire for the second year running by local members of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). 

The pub’s landlords, Nikki Brodin and Stev Stipanovic, accepted the award from the MP for Luton South Gavin Shuker at the recent Luton Beer & Cider Festival.

Since taking on the pub in 2014, Nikki and Stev, who previously worked at famous Merchants Inn in Rugby, have turned the Black Lion around from a struggling, run-down boozer into a welcoming and thriving town centre pub.

Nikki said: “We feel incredibly proud and honoured to receive this award for the second year in succession and we would like to thank all those who voted for us. It’s a great reward for all the hard work.”

CAMRA says there is always a good selection of interesting beers to try, served from cask and bottle, as well as a large range of real, traditionally produced ciders. Every summer they hold a festival with 50 different ciders and perries to try.

South Beds CAMRA branch secretary Mike Coombes said: “CAMRA has won the battle to save traditional British real ale but we are now deep into the battle to save the pub itself as it is no longer fashionable to go to the pub. People like Nikki, Stev and their staff know how to attract people back to their pub and it’s basically through a lot of extremely hard work.”

In 2015 the Black Lion went on to become the Bedfordshire County Champion but this year they will go up against two different winners from the other two Bedfordshire CAMRA branches, which are the New Inn in Biggleswade and the Castle in Bedford. A decision will be made by May.