ORGANISERS of the first York beer census hailed it a huge success, despite the city narrowly missing out on becoming UK Ale Capital.

Dozens of volunteers spent Saturday visiting every pub in York and logging the beers available, to give the most detailed snapshot yet of the city's beer scene.

Volunteers hoped to beat their counterparts in Norwich, who were carrying out a similar study at the same time, but York fell just short, scoring 247 compared to Norwich's 259.

York also fell just short of Sheffield's score of 257 from last year, although Sheffield's detailed results have never been made public. York’s figure included beers from 122 different breweries.

The York census was organised by Lucy Buykx from the city's branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) and Gavin Aitchison, who writes the weekly Pints of View column for The Press.

Lucy said: “We all knew that we have a great beer scene in York – now we have the figures that show it. A very big thank you to all the volunteers who took part in the survey. It was a huge job and we wouldn't have done it without you.

“This is just a snap shot of the beers available on one day but it highlights the hard work and enthusiasm of our York pub landlords who actively seek out new and interesting beers for us every week of the year.”

Gavin said: “It was a great day and many who took part commented on how enjoyable it had been.

“It brought people to pubs they hadn't visited before and opened many people's eyes to the great range of beer available in York.

"Congratulations to Norwich – hopefully we'll be back even stronger next year!”

Martin Ward, vice-chairman of the Norwich branch of Camra, said: “It was a close shave, but we pipped York at the post. It was a very entertaining and worthwhile thing to do. Well done to York too.”

He said he hoped that, in future years, other cities may also carry out such surveys. All the York volunteers were encouraged to drink responsibly, counting the beers in each pub but not necessarily drinking in each.