|The Four Trees.||The Plough.|
|The Hillside.||The Whitehorse Inn.|
THE race to be the crowned Northern Ireland Pub of the Year for 2009 is gathering pace with the shortlist of candidates announced by the Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade.
Battling it out for the Co. Down Pub of the Year award are The White Horse Inn, Saintfield and The Hillside and Plough Inn in Hillsborough.
The Four Trees in Moira will also compete for the Co. Armagh award with Steven Reynolds of Pretty Mary's, Moira, and Robin Wilson of the White Horse Inn, Saintfield competing for the Pub Employee of the Year award.
The judges said these locals have continued to provide their customers with high standards of service and top class experiences that local pub-goers have come to expect and appreciate.
Announcing the finalists Colin Neill, Chief Executive FRLT, said: "This year has seen more pubs enter the awards than any other year previously and the standard of applicants has been outstanding as always, making the judging a difficult task. As the official awards of the licensed trade in Northern Ireland, these awards are an opportunity to showcase and highlight the best in the trade.
"The pubs that have been shortlisted for this year's awards have continued to lead the way in providing excellence and quality pub offerings to the customer and it will be our great pleasure in rewarding these pubs for their unwavering commitment during the difficult economic times we are in."
The Pub of the Year Awards 2009 will be presented at a Gala Dinner at the La Mon Hotel on Tuesday September 8.