The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has named the 16 best real ale pubs in Britain in its yearly guide released today.
The pubs, all winners of their region, were revealed in Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2012 and will go on to compete to be crowned National Pub of the Year in early 2012.
Camra also heralded a ‘golden era’ for British brewing after research found that 99 breweries have opened across the nation over the past 12 months, taking the national total to 840.
Roger Protz, Camra Good Beer Guide 2012 editor, said: “‘To see one shy of a hundred new brewers coming on stream in Britain in just 12 months is totally unprecedented, particularly during a time of economic downturn!
“Even for the most dedicated real ale drinker, the rate of new commercial breweries is becoming almost impossible to keep up with. This truly is a golden era for British brewing, and it’s little wonder more consumers than ever are getting acquainted with real ale in the face of so much choice.”
The guide also presents findings showing there are just fewer than 5,500 beers now in production around the UK. Yorkshire as a whole sweeps away all competition with over 600 regular beers brewed in total. West Yorkshire comes up trumps as a single area with a whopping 276 beers permanently produced by the county’s 43 brewers.
“The choice and diversity of beer in Britain is literally staggering,” added Protz. “Areas such as Yorkshire are recording startling brewery growth, with over six times more brewers in the region than when the first Good Beer Guide was compiled in the 1970s.
“Such a range is exactly what discerning beer drinkers expect in the current climate, and in spite of economic difficulties and pub closures, Britain’s pioneering brewers are rising to the challenge.”
All 840 breweries are featured in this year’s guide and all were judged on customer service, décor, clientele, mix, value for money, atmosphere and the quality of beer and cider.
The 16 regional winners for 2012 are:
Radnor Arms, 32 Coleshill, Coleshill, Oxfordshire, SN6 7PR
Engineers Arms, 68 High Street, Henlow, Bedfordshire, SG16 6AA
Crown, Church Street, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, NG9 1FY
Southampton Arms, 139 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1LE
Magnet, 51 Wellington Road North, Stockport, SK4 1HJ
Flower Pot, 96 Sandling Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 2RJ
Bridge End Inn, 5 Bridge Street, Ruabon, Wrexham, LL14 6DA
Boathouse Inn, Station Road, Wylam, Northumberland, NE41 8HR
Fox and Hounds, South Street, Houston, Renfrewshire, PA6 7EN
Ancient Briton, Brecon Road, Pen-y-Cae, SA9 1YY
Front, Custom House Quay, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3JT
Evening Star, 55-56 Surrey Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3PB
Nog Inn, South Street, Wincanton, BA9 9DL
Beacon Hotel, 129 Bilston Street, Sedgley, West Midlands, DY3 1JE
Swan with Two Necks, Main Street, Pendleton, Lancashire, BB7 1PT
Jemmy Hirst at the Rose & Crown, 26 Riverside, Rawcliffe, East Yorkshire, DN14 8RN