Sunday, 4 October 2009

Cumbria is the best


OK, many will dispute the title, it's true we haven't got the most progressive breweries. There aren't even many dry hopped beers for a start. But when the Good Beer Guide was launched CAMRA also published the county rankings for the number of breweries and Cumbria is 6th overall. I decided to do a little bit of research. I wondered who had the most number of breweries per head of population. After querying Wikipedia and getting Excel to do some sums, it turns out Cumbria ranks the top in England.

Sorry, I didn't include Scotland and Wales, Wikipedia seemed to disagree on the counties and I got confused, easy I know. Anyway, you guys like to think of yourselves as separate countries and quite right too. I'm sure there are bloggers in these countries that would happily do their own research on such a subject.

Dare I also point out that London ranks at the bottom? An interesting north south divide.

9 comments:

The Urban Brewer said...

Not surprised about London Dave, although I dare say the picture would have been very different a hundred odd years ago. Speaking from personal experience, it's expensive (and difficult) to find suitable premises. Don't think we will ever catch up with our Northern friends in terms of brewery numbers.

SheyMouse said...

Here in Chesham, Buckinghamshire we have some brewers trying to set up shop - Chesham's brewery was well regarded in ye olde days. Unfortunately the council keeps on knocking back the application such that the brewers are beginning to look elsewhere. Surely councils should be welcoming breweries (particularly small ones) as they produce stable jobs, and social pride (purely my opinion, but that's how i see it).

By the way Dave, which Hertfordshire entry is correct in your list?

Woolpack Dave said...

These two comments highlight one very real reason why there is a difference. The real correlation is based on population density, which in turn has an effect on property prices. I am sure it is much more costly to set up a small brewery in an urban location.

SheyMouse - I'll have to get back to you on the Hertfordshire error.

Barm said...

Scotland is a bit odd in that the market for the products of microbreweries is concentrated in the cities, but due to the aforementioned difficulties of setting up in the cities, many or most of the breweries are in rural locations, or even on islands. I'll see if I can find any figures, but suspect we may have many shires with 0 or 1 brewery.

Jeff Pickthall said...

What about breweries per square mile?

I suspect we'd be pretty low down the league.

Ed said...

Excellent news, if I can find a brewing job in Cumbria I won't have to keep travelling up and down from Surrey!

StringersBeer said...

Quaffale does the numbers on breweries per unit area
here I think you need to divide by about 38 to get an answer in sq miles. So Cumbria does about 0.01 brewery/sq mile and "that London" almost twice as dense. So while premises may be more expensive, it might be that the delivery radius can be smaller.

Of course, loads of Cumbria is wasted with lakes and mountains and sheep and that.

Woolpack Dave said...

SheyMouse, as far as I can see there is only one Hertfordshire. There is a Herefordshire as well.

SheyMouse said...

@WoolpackDave - I see now. My apologies. I obviously read the list too quickly. Or didn't learn to read first. :-)