A SOUTHAMPTON pub has raised a tankard after being crowned the region's best.

The Guide Dog Alehouse, on Earls Road, was chosen as Southern Hampshire Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Pub of the Year and to celebrate held a party for its loyal customers to bask in its achievement.

For the third year in a row, the pub was selected as a finalist for the top honour but this year managed to take the title.

Four finalists are visited by four volunteer CAMRA judges, who assess them against the organisation's national Pub of the Year scoring criteria.

Victory for the pub will now see it go for the national title.

On Tuesday, a presentation of the award was made to The Guide Dog's owners June Niampan and Gary Clements.

The pair said: "Our team are all delighted to receive this award, and would like to thank all our loyal customers and friends for their support and custom, and also all the CAMRA members and officials who voted for it.

"It is one of the last “real” pubs left in the area and is a convivial hub for both the local community and real ale enthusiasts from near and far.

"It really is a little gem of a pub where you will always find good company and great beer and we need to make sure we take care of it for future generations to enjoy."

Since acquiring the pub in 2015, June and Gary have invested in extending and improving the pub whilst striving to keep it’s unique character and ambience intact.

They have completely refurbished its back room, now named the Doghouse, to increase capacity and provide a facility for private functions and acoustic music.