STAFF at a Kidderminster pub are toasting their success after being given a gold award by the Wyre Forest Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch.

The newly-formed branch chose Ye Olde Seven Stars, in Coventry Street, to receive the gold award for being at the heart of the community in Kidderminster.

The Anchor in Caunsall was awarded bronze and The Station Inn, in Farfield received a silver award.

CAMRA members and regulars from the Kidderminster Male Choir packed out Ye Olde Severn Stars to present landlord Robin Copeman and his staff with the award.

Mr Copeman said: "The Seven Stars has evolved to be much more than a town centre pub. Recently hosting wedding and christening parties and wakes, proves that it is now firmly established as a community pub.”

Chairman of Wyre Forest CAMRA Nick Yarwood said: "Local pubs are rising to the challenge of consistently offering great real ales and ciders together with a friendly community atmosphere.

"There’s no doubt that standards are rising because there’s greater interest in real ales, especially from the younger generation who appreciate the variety of styles and flavours available.

"The three winners this year have all worked hard to achieve their places at the heart of their communities and we are very pleased to recognise them as our pubs of the year.”

The choir played its part in proceedings and serenaded pub-goers, which acted as a warm-up to its scheduled appearance at the CAMRA Beer Festival which is returning to Kidderminster Town Hall from Thursday, May 22 to Saturday, May 24.

The festival will feature guest beers from coastal breweries as well as the best local ales, ciders, perrys, wines and food and entertainment.