Alan had been a QA Manager in engineering and Ava a Nurse but, with the kids grown up, a new challenge beckoned and given Alan's keen interest in real ale, they decided to take the plunge into the licensed trade. The White Horse is one of three pubs in Milton (strictly speaking four, but the Jolly Brewers has been shut some time now and shows no sign of revival). It has a large L-shaped lounge with a big old fireplace acting as a divider to create a cosy area behind it plus a sizeable public bar with pool table and darts. The immaculate standard of cleanliness stems from Ava's nursing background; on my visit the loos (which include a big disabled one) had just received a new lick of paint in the pub's attractive red and cream colour scheme.

On to the real ales then. The White Horse is an Enterprise Inns pub so Alan has some limits on what he can access though the SIBA delivery scheme offers a pretty good choice of smaller brewers. There are no permanent ales on the four handpumps but appearing regularly are the likes of Wells Eagle, Woodforde's Wherry, Batemans XB and beers from Oakham, Cottage, Brewsters, Ringwood and Otter alongside more unusual visitors. Real ale sales are more than ten times what they were under the old regime and Alan is proud to have converted many lager drinkers to the good stuff.

To celebrate their five years, Alan and Ava are holding their first beer festival from 1-4 September, featuring 24 ales, ciders and perries. There'll be a hog roast on the Saturday and barbecues at other times with the whole event being family friendly (the pub has a large garden with kiddies play area)

The White Horse isn't just about beer though and food sales have also seen enormous growth. Chef Adam has been here the full five years and has built up a strong menu of mostly home-cooked meals with grills and seafood prominent. Saturday breakfast, from 10am, is a recent addition. Food is served every session except Sunday evening (but the pub itself is open all day). A five star rating for food and hygiene from the District Council has been achieved.

As befits a true community pub, there's always lots going on here bingo on Wednesday, quiz on Thursday, karaoke first Friday and so on. The pub is also dog-friendly.

The only odd thing about the White Horse is that it's taken us at CAMRA so long to catch up with it. If you think your local (or your pub) is a gem that we've missed, please let the Editor know.