A former City worker who had never pulled a pint before quitting his job and becoming a publican has picked up the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) National Pub of the Year Award.

Peter Tiley and his wife Claire run the Salutation Inn, a rural freehouse in the small village of Ham, Gloucestershire.

Since taking over in April 2013, the pub has won its local branch competition, then the whole region, finally making it through to the final four of the competition and now being named overall champion.

Pubs are judged by CAMRA on a variety of criteria such as atmosphere, level of service, value for money and community focus, with extra weighting of course given to the quality of their real ale, cider and perry.

The Salutation Inn, known by locals as ‘the Sally’, was popular with judges due to its fantastic beer selection and welcoming, homely feel – with one judge saying “what struck me most was the welcome – as if I was being invited into a private house as a friend”.

Peter Tiley said: “For the Sally to have won National Pub of the Year is beyond our wildest dreams - we’re totally shell-shocked. Pubs are so important to me that to have our own one recognised in this way is just amazing. We count ourselves so unbelievably lucky to have a brilliant team of staff who are so passionate and dedicated as well as a community of locals who have given so much to support and contribute towards the pub.

“It is these people that have made the pub what it is today and for that we are incredibly grateful.”

CAMRA director Abigail Newton added: “What Peter and Claire have done in the short time they have been running the pub is nothing short of staggering and goes to show that passion, enthusiasm, and a real love of beer are hugely important when running a pub.”

The three other finalists were: The Freshfield in Formby (Merseyside), The Harewood Arms in Broadbottom (Greater Manchester) and The Windmill in Sevenoaks Weald (Kent).