The Three Crowns in Chippenham has been selected by the Northwest Wiltshire branch of Camra as its 2013 Pub of the Year.

Since buying the freehold three years ago, Steve Jenner has transformed the pub into a traditional community local.

Just 10 months after he took over, and again the following year, The Three Crowns was Camra’s runner-up. This time it has taken the winning certificate.

It has been in the Good Beer Guide three years running and is listed in second place in the Wiltshire pubs category on the Beer in the Evening website, after The Old Royal Ship at Luckington.

The 18th-century pub in The Causeway has two darts teams and holds monthly comedy nights and a quiz on alternate Monday nights. A choice of six real ales and three farmhouse ciders and perries is always available.

Mr Jenner, 56, said: “There’s no pool table, no music; people just mingle and talk to each other.”

“It’s like walking into a living room,” said regular Gemma Dutton, 28, of Chippenham.

It has not always had such a reputation. Chippenham Police Inspector Phil Staynings said: “We used to be called out occasionally to the pub, but we’re pleased we haven’t been needed since Mr Jenner arrived.”

Regular Shaun Williams, 52, of Pewsham, said: “I only came in once before Steve took it over and I didn’t stay; the atmosphere was not pleasant. But with the Jenners we were made to feel welcome from the first time we walked in.

“It’s how pubs used to be and how they should be. It’s a wonderful ambience, good company and they let you sample the beers. My mother-in-law loves it, she says it’s like how pubs are back home for her in Ireland.”

The Three Crowns is civil servant Mr Jenner’s first pub, though he built up his expertise while running the bar at Bradford on Avon Rugby Club for seven years.

Gareth MacDonald, vice-chairman of Northwest Wiltshire CAMRA, said: “Steve Jenner has worked tirelessly to transform the pub into a haven of real ale at reasonable prices. He is also keen to promote local Wiltshire cider. It’s a favourite for Camra members and well worthy of an award.”

The range will be expanded for a beer festival at the pub this weekend, from today until Monday.