Study taps into data on York ale

Lucy Buykx, Dr Ignazio Cabras and Gavin Aitchison prepare for the York Beer Census

Lucy Buykx, Dr Ignazio Cabras and Gavin Aitchison prepare for the York Beer Census

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BEER enthusiasts are to embark on a second city-wide pub crawl – all in the name of research.

The first York Beer Census was held in 2012 and organisers are planning a second, to chart how the price, choice and diversity of beer has changed.

Volunteers are invited to sign up to help conduct the survey, which will be held on June 7. Similar exercises are being carried out in other cities later this year, including Nottingham, Norwich and Shef - field, but organisers are seeking to downplay the competitive element of previous years.

The York Beer Census is being or - ganised by the city’s branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, The Press and Ignazio Cabras, a York-based academic now working at Newcas - tle Business School, with expertise on the economic impact of pubs in their communities. York Brewery is also supporting the event, providing a base for organisers on the day and a free pint and buffet afterwards for each volunteer.

In 2012, York’s pubs had 247 dif - ferent real ales on sale on the day of the census. This year, volunteers are asked to count real ales but also keg beers, both from small brewer - ies and bigger international firms.

A survey will also be distributed to landlords on the day of the survey, to gather data about the state of the pub industry in York.

Dr Cabras said: “The beer survey provides an invaluable instrument which will provide fresh informa - tion about the type, range and prices of beers available within licensed premises in York and its surrounding areas.”

He said such data could become invaluable in future years, when looking to monitor trends, and also for comparing costs and tastes in different parts of the country.

He said: “It would interesting to see whether the price of a pint in different location follows the patterns of prices shown by other commodities, e.g. housing prices. In addition, data can be used against those collected in 2012 in order to check whether policies such as the Beer Duty cut have had some ef - fects with regard to the availability of beer - for example encouraging pub owners to diversify their offer.”

Dr Cabras has pioneered research into the economic benefit pubs bring to rural areas, but said there had been little such work in urban areas, and he said the surveys would help address that.

Gavin Aitchison, pub columnist for The Press, said: “The 2012 survey gave a lot of insights into the range of beer available in York, and also helped many drinkers to discover pubs they hadn’t tried before.”

Lucy Buykx, from CAMRA said: “I’m looking forward to the York beer census, it will be a fun day for everyone.”

To volunteer, visit yorkcamra.org.uk/york-beer-census-2014

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