BEER lovers toasted the success of quality pubs and a growing revolution in local brewing at the second annual Oxford beer and pub awards.

Landlords, brewers and aficionados gathered for the ceremony on Monday night which saw the White Hart in Headington named Oxford city pub of the year for 2017.

Other winners included the Brewery Tap in Abingdon, which was crowned Town and County pub of the year and Turpin Brewers, based in Hook Norton, who won best beer for the third year in a row for its Golden Citrus.

Pete Flynn, the chairman of Oxford Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) who organised the awards, said he couldn’t remember a more exciting time for beer drinkers.

He added: “There’s been an explosion in small brewers producing different flavours and tastes.

“There’ll be a saturation point but we haven’t reached it yet.

“People are very keen on finding out where their beer comes from, what’s in it and who brewed it.

“We’re seeing more and more links between the brewer and the consumer.

“Real ale is so much more popular and the days of the mass produced lager seems to be on the way out.”

John Romen, the owner of Turpin said brewing was ‘a lot of hard work’ and the most important thing was still to produce a great-tasting beer.

He added: “I love the camaraderie of the industry, it’s unlike anything I’ve been involved with before.

“Even though we are all technically rivals, we all support each other when we can.”

James Clarke, of Hook Norton, one of Oxfordshire’s most established breweries, said 90 per cent of beer drunk in the UK is brewed in the country.

He said brewing is one of the rare industries where this is the case and more should be done to celebrate it.

Mr Clarke added: “The great thing about small breweries is that they are free to push the flavour boundaries and try new things.

“When I started we were brewing three types of beer, now it is more like 50 or 60.”

Another growing trend in Oxfordshire is the rise of the community-owned pub with six opening in recent years.

Matthew Bowden-Ford, the manager of the Seven Stars pub in Marsh Baldon, last year’s pub of the year, said more and more villages have been contacting him to see how its done.

He added: “It used to be that you would know all your neighbours because you would see them in the pub every night of the week.

“Now a lot of people are afraid of going in on their own.

“I think community pubs are bringing back some of the old spirit in a way.”

The awards were the second Oxford CAMRA has held.