A MICROPUB that has picked up a string of awards in just three years has been named North Wales' best.

The Bay Hop bottleshop, on Penrhyn Road has won the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) 2019 Best Pub in North Wales.

Bringing the pub's haul of awards from the organisation to five, this is owner Chris Rigg's biggest award to date following three consecutive wins for Abercolwyn Pub of the Year and Cider Pub of the Year in 2018. The pub was also in the running for Wales Pub of the Year, which has been won by the Mansel Arms in Porthyrhyd, near Carmarthen.

North Wales Pioneer:

Chris Rigg of the Bay Hop has won CAMRA's North Wales Pub of the Year

Mr Rigg, who lives in Bryn Pydew, said: "To get five awards in three year's isn't bad going. I'm running out of space for them, so I'll have to start putting them on the wall.

"It's been really difficult to keep it under wraps. I found out last month about the award, but we had to keep it quiet while the judging for Wales Pub of the Year was happening.

"Because we've won this award, it also makes us a runner up for the best pub in Wales too."

The pub's success in winning the award - which in recent years has also been won by the Albion in Conwy - is a coup for Colwyn Bay and bucks the trend of pub closures across the country - despite the specialised approach of the business.

However, while previous recipients of the award - which in the Abercolwyn area includes the Albion in Conwy- tend to offer a a broad range of drinks and spirits to appeal to a wider customer base, Mr Rigg credits his success against growing competition in the North Wales micropub scene with its focus on beer.

Mr Rigg, who is originally from Stockton-on-Tees, added; "When we first m,oved to this area four years ago, we always expected that Colwyn Bay had a fantastic customer base that wasn't being catered for.

"While there's a great selection of pubs in north Wales now, and Colwyn Bay has also picked up a bit, we're the only ones who focus on beer rather than a mainstream drinks selection with thinks like spirits.

"Now we have regular customers coming over from Conwy to Colwyn Bay every week- that wouldn't have happened three years ago.

"We even once had a customer from Montrose in Scotland who was travelling to Dublin, and rather than go via Stranraer booked from Holyhead so we would be his overnight stop."

The pub will receive its award in October with a presentation by Abercolwyn CAMRA chairman Ian Saunders.

Mr Saunders said:"As the Bay Hop is CAMRA North Wales Pub of the Year it arguably one of the best place to drink in North Wales. If you include Old Colwyn and Colwyn Heights there are six pubs in CAMRAs Good Beer Guide as opposed to four in Llandudno or three in Conwy.

"Colwyn Bay has now become a focal point for bars and restaurants selling ales, craft beers, wines and interesting food - it’s the place to be."