The Masons Arms in Headington is a real family pub - the Meesons have been running it for the past quarter of a century.

And they are delighted that the hostelry in Quarry School Place has been nominated for Oxford Mail Best Pub 2022.

“We are very pleased to be nominated,” said Chris Meeson.

Read again: 20 years of pulling pints at the Masons Arms

“I think it has been a tough time in recent years, especially for the smaller pubs.

Oxford Mail:

“Following all the different rules and restrictions through Covid was tough but I do think customers confidence has come back.”

Mr Meeson said customers were now enjoying a pint in the pub’s large garden.

The Masons Arms is a free house - not tied to a brewery - so the family focuses on bringing in as many interesting real ales as possible.

This becomes a particular focus when the pub stages its annual beer festival.

Next month the 19th annual festival will take place on September 9, 10 and 11.

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Mr Meeson added: “I’m planning it at the moment - there will be 50 different beers, music and food.

“The beers come from all over the UK and some of them customers have not heard of before.”

Oxford Mail:

The Masons Arms is all about the beer - it’s what is known as a ‘wet pub’ where you can buy a few bar snacks but not hot food.

“That’s how some pubs used to be and it still works for us,” Mr Meeson added.

“One of my favourite beers at the moment is Vocation: Bread and Butter - it’s a 3.9 per cent session beer - dry hop, pale.

“I hope customers now vote for us - it’s good to be in the top 10 - it gets people talking.”

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To go with the large garden, The Masons Arms also has a function room, which can be used for comedy shows and live music.

The shortlist for the competition is: The Black Boy, Old High Street, Headington; The White Hart, St Andrew’s Road, Headington; The Brewery Tap, Ock Street, Abingdon; College Oak, Peachcroft Road, Abingdon; The Masons Arms, Quarry School Place, Headington; The Royal Blenheim, St Ebbe’s; The Turf Tavern, Bath Place, off Holywell Street; The Victoria Arms, Mill Lane, Oxford; The Queen’s Arms, Manor Road, Didcot; The White Hart, Godstow Road, Wolvercote.

Oxford Mail:

Drinkers are now being asked to vote for their favourite by sending in voting tokens which will be featured in the Oxford Mail every day until Saturday.

Post your voting coupon to: Oxford Mail Best Pub 2022, Richmond House, Units 1 and 2, Edison Park, Hindle Way, Swindon, SN3 3RB.

The closing date for postal entries is Sunday, August 21.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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