Both of our local papers, the Visiter and the Champion, have been excitedly reporting that in the Beer Quality Report 2016 produced by Cask Marque, Southport has been declared the second best place in the country to have a pint. We lost the top spot to Doncaster. Here are the rankings:
Most likely to get a good pint
1. Doncaster 2. Southport 3. Chesterfield 4. Warrington 5. Derby
Least likely to get a good pint
1. Reading 2. Hereford 3. Plymouth 4. Andover 5. Swindon
The report goes into some details as to why failures in beer quality occur, such as it being served too cold or too warm, whether the lines are cleaned often enough, too many real ales on for the level of throughput, and so on, some of which I've touched on before, and which have been written about in more detail by other beer bloggers such as Curmudgeon and - especially - Tandleman. An interesting fact is that the region that scores worst for beer quality is the one where it is most expensive: the South East.
A couple of quotes from the report:
"In my opinion there are far too many pubs
who are happy to let the customer do their
quality control for them and just wait
for beer to be handed back when deemed
unsatisfactory, but how many customers say
nothing and never return?" Neil Bain, Brewery Director of Joules.
"The industry could be losing up to £333 million of profit per annum through poor beer quality management." Pail Nunny, Director, Cask Marque.
I have very occasionally been asked my opinion by licensees about real ales. One point I have made is that is better to have fewer served well than many that are mediocre. I do not claim this as a profound observation; it simply makes no business sense to overstock a product with a very limited shelf life.
For the moment, we Southport drinkers can enjoy our place in the sun, while it lasts.
Visiter report here. Champion report here. The Champion even sent out one of its reporters to test the beer in a local pub; nice work if you can get it.