CAMRA branch members have carried out their annual census of pubs and beers to find out which tipples are most popular and which venues in Stourbridge and Halesowen are serving the priciest and cheapest pints.

Stourbridge and Halesowen CAMRA members undertook their fifth annual census in the 24 hours from July 21 to 22, stopping off at pubs to check the range of real ales being offered and to confirm opening times and other information for their WhatPub database.

Branch spokesperson Steve Pratt said the annual outing is also “a pretty good excuse to have a day out visiting pubs, including some that we do not get around to frequent too often.”

Members started visiting pubs in their local neighbourhood from 5pm on Friday evening and met up at Stourbridge’s Red House Boutique on Saturday afternoon to compare notes and enjoy a beer together.

Stourbridge News: Stourbridge and Halesowen CAMRA members taking part in their annual census of pubsStourbridge and Halesowen CAMRA members taking part in their annual census of pubs (Image: Stourbridge & Halesowen CAMRA)

The 2023 results were largely as expected, they said.

In total 82 pubs were visited, including two new ones - the Old Liberal in Quarry Bank and Roberto’s Bar in Halesowen.

Two pubs have permanently closed since the last census - the Greyhound in Norton and Lye’s Beat Brewery Taphouse.

In total 75 pubs were serving cask ale this year, compared to 79 in 2022. Members said they found five pubs with no cask on sale on the day, though in some cases it was due to temporary problems of hot weather or cellar issues.

The range of beers was very similar to last year, they said, with 136 different cask ales from 84 breweries on offer in the branch area - one less than 2022.

Steve added: “Wye Valley HPA was the most popular beer we came across, served in 24 of the pubs visited, closely followed by their Butty Bach in 13 pubs.

“As in previous surveys, Holden’s Golden Glow and Enville Ale were other beers frequently seen.

“We also recorded 34 different real ciders and 25 craft keg beers being served, so the overall range of beers and ciders is impressive.

“As expected, the price of a pint of cask ale has increased again as both breweries and pub owners struggle with their overhead costs.”

He said the median price of a pint of cask ale now stands at £3.90, up from £3.65 in 2022 and £3.20 before the Covid pandemic.

The cheapest pint members found was Ruddles Best – priced at £1.71 at Wetherspoons - and the most expensive was a £5 pint being charged in one of our Stourbridge pubs they stopped off at.

The average cost of a pint of cider is £4.34.

Steve said: “Craft keg beer is usually more expensive, with an average price of £6.33, but can be up to £15 a pint.

“It's hard to measure, but the other theme from the weekend is that all the pubs seemed to be a little busier than last year.

“Let’s hope the difficulties the licenced trade has had to endure since 2020 are starting to ease and that we’ll start to see a brighter future.”