Hot off the press is the 2022 Good Beer Guide which is the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) biggest publication, focusing on the best pubs to find a great pint of cask beer in the UK.
In this edition the total number of independent UK breweries has risen to 1,902, from 1,816 in 2020 and interestingly this is the highest number of breweries recorded in the guide since the first publication in 1974.
The increase follows the first decline in brewery numbers since 2008 in the previous edition. However, while 138 newly listed breweries have opened this year, 75 have closed, with some regions reporting higher or equal numbers of closures compared to new breweries.
While last year’s guide captured pre-Covid-19 data, the 2022 edition shows the effect 18 months of lockdown had on the industry. CAMRA has been calling on the government to go further with its support package for pubs and breweries, to help mitigate the damage done to a sector in recovery, and still scarred by extended closures.
A definitive guide
The guide, which surveys 4,500 pubs across the UK, is considered the definitive beer drinker’s guide to the best pints in the most picturesque and friendly pubs and establishments. Despite being hampered by lockdowns and restrictions in the early part of this year, thousands of volunteers have pulled together to compile this year’s entries, helping to identify significant trends and themes locally and nationally.
CAMRA chairman, Nik Antona, said: “After the struggles of the past 18 months for the industry, it is great that The Good Beer Guide figures are showing the resilience of pubs and brewers in the face of strife, an increase in brewery numbers after they dipped last year for the first time, as well as over 500 new pub entries.
“This is great to see, especially coupled with the news from the government’s latest budget, including the announcement of a new, lower rate of duty for draught beer and cider.”
“However, the industry is still vulnerable in the aftermath of Covid-19 lockdowns. Breweries still face issues around costs of goods, lack of business rate relief, and silence from the government on small brewers’ relief reform.
“We are calling on the government to make sure the new draught duty rate applies to containers 20 litres and up so that all our small and independent brewers can benefit.”
The foreword for this year’s edition of The Good Beer Guide was written by best selling singer song writer, James Blunt who has thrown his support behind the great British pub and reflected on the industry’s struggles during the coronavirus pandemic.
James is also the owner of the Fox and Pheasant pub in Chelsea and has highlighted the importance of pubs to communities and encourages us all to get back to the pub to support our locals rather than drink cheap supermarket beer at home as many have done during lockdown.
Pubs in Rye and the local area featured in this year’s guide include The Standard Inn on The Mint 01797 225231, the Waterworks on Tower Street, 01797 224110, Ypres Castle Inn, Gun Garden, 01797 223248, in Peasmarsh The Horse and Cart, School Lane, 01797 230034 and in Icklesham, the Queens Head on Parsonage Lane, 01424 814552
The Good Beer Guide 2022 is now available from the CAMRA shop at https://shop1.camra.org.uk/product/the-good-beer-guide-2022. There is an updated app version available for download on both iOS and Android devices. CAMRA members can order the guide at a reduced rate of £12 plus postage and packing.
Image Credits: CAMRA , Nick Forman .