Monday, 14 November 2016

The keg pub challenge

I recently wrote about how keg pubs sail under the radar of CAMRA and beer writing. Several people responded on Twitter to say that I was exaggerating and there weren’t anything like that number of keg-only pubs in the country.

My response was that he was looking at a tourist area, and that if you looked at more down-at-heel areas away from the tourist trail, the proportion would be very different. For example, if you searched on WhatPub for Clay Cross, on the fringes of the Peak District, 4/10 of the results are No Real Ale.

This led me to wonder what was the highest proportion of keg pubs you could find doing a similar search. Considering places in my general neck of the woods, Leigh in South Lancs scored 7/10, and Widnes, birthplace of both my parents, an impressive 9/10, although some of the pubs listed are actually south of the Mersey in Runcorn.

I couldn’t, however, find anywhere with the magic 10/10. I suspect that is most likely in Scotland, but a problem is that, north of the Border, CAMRA branches don’t seem to have listed all of their pubs, keg or real, on WhatPub? Understandable, I suppose, if you have two real and two hundred keg pubs in your area. It’s possible that somewhere in the South Wales Valleys might make it – for example, chosen at random, Abertillery scores 8/10.

So, here’s the challenge - can anyone find a 10/10 keg pub location on WhatPub? The rules of the game are that you search under a particular location, then uncheck the “Real Ale Available” box. But it’s cheating if you also uncheck “Pubs Only”.

12 comments:

  1. You looking for a place well away from beardy tyranny? Where you can enjoy your smooth in peace without fear of the disapproval of the beer police? The search for the magic 10/10 is on.

    Both your readers will be looking for the promised land.

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  2. Teesside must be prime territory for towns with no cask. South Bank and Normanby being most likely. I'll have a look when I get a chance.

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  3. Replies
    1. Well done - and very close to home, too. A pint (of real ale) is yours when we next meet at a branch meeting :-)

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  4. Kirkby is 14/16. The other two are a town centre Wetherspoons and "Newly built large food oriented child friendly pub owned by Marstons" out of town on the East Lancs Road.

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    Replies
    1. I imagine Spoons is all that saves many places, especially in Scotland. Although, according to reports from Tandleman, outside the big cities the real ale in Spoons is often undrinkable due to minimal turnover.

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  5. I guess the campaign for real ale wins when each of these gaffs closes yeh?

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  6. There should be quite a few towns in Northern Ireland that don't have real ale.

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    Replies
    1. But, as with large swathes of Scotland, WhatPub doesn't give a complete record of all pubs, real or keg.

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  7. The problem is the number of missing pubs. I know the town I grew up in, Darvel, has no real ale within 10 miles. Yet it doesn't show up on WhatPub because none of the 3 pubs in the town are listed. Nor are the 4 pubs in the next town down the valley or any of the pubs in Galston.

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    Replies
    1. I can understand Scottish branches not wanting to bother if they have 200 keg pubs and 2 cask pubs.

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  8. A side issue. When I eventually worked out how to find them, I was impressed by Wakefield CAMRA's comprehensive logging of licensed premises on WhatPub, stretching to Sainbury Locals, Chinese restaurants and Pizza Hut.

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