In our CAMRA Branch, our Pubs Officer is on the ball. He produced some figures the other night, which I have laboriously put into a table after crunching the numbers, probably incorrectly.
Rochdale, Oldham and Bury now has as off April 2011, 626 pubs. The corresponding number in 2010 was 643. That's a drop of 17 overall. The surprising thing is that while pub numbers overall have fallen, in each year, in each area, the number of cask pubs has risen and keg pubs declined. Now you may be surprised at the number of keg pubs we have - I was for sure - but then again, this is mainly a poor area and poor areas have keg pubs and lots of them. At least in this neck of the woods. The North that is. We have though gone from a cask minority to a cask majority, so that is pleasing to me at least.
Now I'd like to spot trends, identify market weaknesses and do many other things, but I won't, except to say, if you run a traditional keg pub, better start thinking about changing over to cask if you want to increase your survival chances. The other trend of course is that from a CAMRA point of view, we have far too many keg pubs in our branch area and we need to target some of the better ones for change - for a bit of good old fashioned campaigning in other words. There's loads of other things to spot though, but keg isn't doing well out of the decrease in pubs year on year, here at least.
As for new wave keg pubs? We don't really have any. Not any that sell British new wave keg anyway.
Here's the details.
God knows how Ron does his tables and makes it all so neat. It took me ages and I'm not doing it again - even if the arithmetic is skewiff.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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