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HALESOWEN’S favourite ale has been revealed following a census carried out by the region’s Campaign for Real Ale branch.

More than 20 volunteers from Stourbridge & Halesowen CAMRA recently visited 76 local pubs to record the different real ales and ciders available to customers.

Out of the pubs visited, 74 were serving real ale on that particular day, with the results showing a range of beers and ciders from 83 different breweries are on sale in the local area.

The most popular ale on offer was Enville Ale, which was sold in 17 of the 76 pubs, followed closely by Holdens Golden Glow (15 pubs), Wye Valley HPA (11), Banks's Amber (10), Wye Valley Butty Bach (nine) Sharp's Doombar (nine) and Thwaites Wainwright Golden Ale (seven).

The branch plan to repeat the exercise in future years to measure how well their campaigning efforts in support of local pubs and breweries are working.

Andy Koszary, census organiser, said: “It’s been a great success. We already knew that the variety of beers and ciders on offer has been increasing in recent years but to discover that 150 different beers were available, and 83 different breweries represented was a bit of an eye-opener.

“This is the first time we have carried out this sort of survey of our pubs and it is something that we plan to repeat in 2018, to see how the range changes, year-on-year.

“Perhaps 25 years ago, most of our pubs would just have sold Mild and Bitter from either Banks’s, Ansells or M&B. The range today is truly wonderful and this is largely through the work of CAMRA members campaigning on behalf of pubs and breweries.

“It is a quality product, though it takes some experience and skill by our publicans to keep it in good condition.”

The branch also reported cask ale was selling in the area for an average price of £3.08, 25p cheaper than the average price of cider. While the alcohol by volume (ABV) of the cask ales was 4.30 per cent compared to 5.50 per cent of cider.

Lizzie Cadwell, branch ‘apple co-ordinator’, said: “Many of our local pubs also serve a great range of real ciders.

“We came across 17 different producers. Many of these obviously come from the West Country, but there are some local producers based in and around Stourbridge, such as Wychelm.”

More information about the Stourbridge & Halesowen CAMRA branch, as well as details of how to join the campaign, are available at www.stourhales.camra.org.uk.

Phil Zjalic, branch chairman, added: “We enjoyed visiting our pubs and sampling the beers on offer. We have a very active branch with 700 members but new members are always welcome.

“Cask ale is a fantastic product and we would encourage everyone to try some of the range on offer at our local pubs – especially those who would usually choose lager or keg beers.”