Friday, 21 September 2012

Last Orders At The Bar?

I've not only read a couple of depressing news articles recently but also seen it with my own eyes, the sad demise of many a local pub. There's nothing quite like a satisfying meal or drink in a rural pub, such as the Swinside Inn at the foot of Catbells in the Lake District, or the White Horse Inn, hidden in Rosedale in the deepest folds of the North York Moors.

The Swinside Inn tucked away in the Lake District

But pubs in rural areas in particular are susceptible to closure it seems, which probably has the most impact as these communities lose yet another focal point. The locals suffer and the tourists and walkers miss out too. Whether you like a beer or two or not is irrelevant, the knock-on effect to the local economy and culture is devastating.

About as remote as it gets - Tan Hill Inn

The West Midlands is one of the areas hardest hit by pub closures which is a bit of a surprise to me as it is the home of the Marstons Beer Company who as well as brewing some of their own great beers such as Banks's, Marstons Pedigree, EPA and so on, also look after the bottling for my favourite beer which is Jennings' Cumberland Ale.

Jennings brewery tour

The area hardest hit in the first half of 2012 was rural Lancashire and again this is a disappointment to me as I enjoy visiting the area and have done some walking on Clougha Pike in the Forest of Bowland.

As well as doing the obvious and frequenting pubs, you can also get involved in a number of ways. Here are a number of links which will give you further information.

The Pub Is The Hub - about recognising the value the local pub has in the community

The Cumbria Crack - a competition offering a makeover to the winning Cumbrian pub.

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)

You can read more about the regions hardest hit by pub closures - from the drinks industry perspective - here

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