A PUB in the centre of a hamlet community has won a prize for being the top real ale pub in Chelmsford and Mid Essex.

The Compasses Inn, in Littley Green, has been given the accolade for the second year in a row by the local Campaign For Real Ale group.

The pub offers a wide range of traditional beers which are kept in a temperature-controlled cellar and pulled direct from the barrel along with a selection of wines, draught ciders and lagers.

Also in the building is a bed and breakfast while on the food menu, chefs serve up Heffers, a triangular bap sandwich with hot or cold ingredients.

Landlord Joss Ridley, who has been at the venue for five years, said winning the award again is a great boost for him and his staff as it shows how well they are performing.

He added: “It’s very important for us to continue with keeping our standards up.

“I know there have been some new pubs opening in Chelmsford so it’s very good to keep going on and being recognised and know our standards are still high.”

With bars across the country struggling in the poor economic climate, Mr Ridley, a direct descendent of the founder of Essex-based brewers Ridley, said it is important for pubs to keep connected to their community.

He added: “Here we have a dominoes team, bridge nights and also hold an annual beer festival which raises money for Farleigh Hospice and these types of events bring a lot of people to our pub.

“I think pubs remains important because it provides a place for people to pop down to have a drink and speak with friends.”