York beer census 2014

On 7 June more than 50 CAMRA members and beer lovers braved the rain and surveyed more than 200 pubs in and around York. They recorded all the beers and ciders available on the bar. Pints of View published the initial results under the headline “422 beers in York and counting…” but now we’ve pulled it all together and can give you the full results and proudly say that York is a fantastic place for beer lovers.

Summary results
Looking at the beers on sale on 7 June, we found 281 different real ales on sale in 164 pubs – that’s up from 241 unique beers in 2012 which is a fantastic increase.

The top 5 beers we found were:
1. John Smiths Cask
2. Black Sheep Best Bitter
3. Timothy Taylor Landlord
4. Copper Dragon Golden Pippin
5. Sharps Doom Bar
The top 4 were the same in 2012 but this year Doom Bar pushed Hobgoblin out of the 5th position.

This great variety of beers is thanks to York pubs always looking for something different to stock alongside the regulars; while 10 beers were available in 10 or more pubs there were 201 beers found in only one pub on the day.

LocAle beers
74 of these unique beers (that’s just over a quarter) were from 22 different LocAle brewers – that’s beer that is brewed within 25 miles of York. We found a LocAle beer on sale in 83 pubs – that’s half the pubs that sell real ale – which means you will never be far from drinking something local.

The top 5 LocAle beers we found were:
1. York Guzzler
2. Samuel Smith Old Brewery Bitter
3. York Yorkshire Terrier
4. Leeds Pale
5. Roosters Yankee
Compared to 2012 Yorkshire Terrier and Guzzler have swapped places and Roosters Yankee has pushed Centurion’s Ghost out of the top 5.

You can find pubs that sell LocAle on our LocAle pubs pages. You can find more information about LocAle breweries and find out what is LocAle to you on our LocAle breweries pages

Not only is there a great range of beers but you can also choose a wide range of strengths of beers. We found the ABV of real ales ranged from 2.7% up to 7.4% so there is something to suit every drinker and occasion. The average price of beer was £3.15 which is an above inflation increase from the average price of £3.02 that we found in 2012, noteworthy considering in the meantime the beer duty escalator was scrapped and beer duty was reduced by 1p.

Keg beers
There were more keg beers on sale than real ales (1029 keg compared to 595 real ales) but we found only 138 different keg beers.
The top 5 we found were:
1. Guinness
2. Carling
3. John Smiths Extra Smooth
4. Fosters
5. Stella Artois
The average price was £3.41 with an ABV range from 3.6% to 5.4%.

Real ciders
We are still crunching the data for the ciders and will update this as soon as we have the figures.

Other beer cities
In 2012 we ran our beer census on the same day as Norwich did theirs. Back then they pipped us at the last minute with a couple more unique real ales than we found in York. Well, they are doing their beer survey on 2 August so we are looking forward to see what they find this year. More locally, Sheffield will be doing their beer survey soon and Leeds are planning one later in August. We with them all the best of luck and look forward to seeing the results!

More info
The beer census was organised by Lucy Buykx, Ignazio Cabras and Gavin Aitchison. If you would like more information then get in touch at beercensus@york.camra.org.uk. You can find more info on 2012 beer census here

York beer census in The Press
8 June: 422 beers in York – and counting….
20 May: Study taps into data on York ale