Rob and Lucy Brewer of the Rashleigh Arms on Cornwall’s south have won the Licensee of the Year award 2016.

The St Austell licensees were announced as winners at yesterday’s British Institute of Innkeeping’s summer event.

Beating a shortlist of six licensees, were praised by the judges for “distinguished themselves from the competition thanks to their commitment to going above and beyond to differentiate their offering”. The Rashleigh Arms was described as very much a destination pub in Cornwall with a strong food trade as well as its focus on real ales that make up 28.6% of the drinks available.

The couple also showcased their industry knowledge on subjects such as the national living wage, training and organically growing their hospitality team.

Rob Brewer said: “We are so proud to be the winners of the Licensee of the Year Awards, especially as a Cornish pub. I think the number one economy in Cornwall is based around tourism, bringing people into the county to come and visit us. So anything that we can do that helps promote that I think is a massive plus.”

Lucy Brewer said: “We also hope successes such as ours help get people into the industry. We’re up to a 50-strong team now so we hope this kind of recognition will encourage people to consider working in hospitality and staying as well. But primarily, we hope our award win and exposure from attending industry events to commentate on issues that matter to the South West, will help boost Cornwall’s tourism and economy.”

BII chief executive, Mike Clist, said: “We were really impressed by Rob and Lucy as a shining example of running a licensed establishment. As well as enthusiasm and passion for the Great British pub industry, they’re also very involved in their local community making them a social hub for the picturesque seaside village of Charlestown.”