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On Saturday June 2nd, 11 members of Leicester CAMRA visited all the pubs in the Leicester city centre to complete the Fourth annual Real Ale & Cider census. The purpose of the census is to take a snapshot of the availability and variety of Real Ale and Real Cider so we can see what is available within our city on a given day, as well as allowing us to look how the overall availability of our favourite tipples are changing over the years.

This year hasn’t seen the growth trend experienced previously and the number of venues selling Real Ale on the day of the census remained  the same but the amount of breweries selling in the city has seen a significant increase up 12 to 93.

There were 48 venues open and selling real ale during the census. This last year has seen no new venues have opened but three have had name changes The Walkabout now has 2 less real ales but The Distillery had 2 more and Head of Steam has 3 more.

Overall 16 venues have 28 less real ales on sale though the Barley Mow said 4 were coming on later that day ,9 venues had 12 more on sale than last year, hopefully the addition of 2 new pubs due to open will buck this slight dip in ales available, it is worth mentioning that even though it is not recorded on the census Broood had 17 extra beers on sale as they had a stillage beer festival on.

It as very pleasing to see two local breweries enter the top ten of being available in most venues both Charnwood and Framework had 4 casks available over the city.

The cider scene in the city saw an overall increase of 1 venue, 7 less producers, 1 less in diversity but the same amount selling over the city 60 boxes or casks with Lilley’s dominating the market.



Real Ale

Lowest: 3.4% Old Sawley – JIM (co-brewed by Leicester CAMRA for mild in may)
Highest: 6.5% Charnwood – Crazy Fox
Average: 4.3% ( down by 0.1% from 2017 and 2015 equal to 2016)

Everards Tiger was the most prevalent Real Ale in the city again for the fourth  year of completing the census. For the fourth year in a row the Everards dominance is split with Sharp’s Doom Bar coming in at number two. Framework and Charnwood have both entered the table with 4 casks each available around the city



Lowest: 3.5 Saxby’s – Rhubarb (down 0.5% on every year)
Highest: 8.5% Lilley’s – Gladiator (up 1.0% on last year)
Average: 5.3% (Down 0.1% on last year down by 0.5% on 2016)
Knights – Malvern Gold at 4 venues
Lilley’s - Mango at 4 venues
Lilley’s – Rhubarb at 3 venues

Most Prevalent Producer

Lilley’s – 10 different ciders at 7 venues


Full figures are:

Thank you very much to the volunteers that participated in the census:
Graham & Annie Law, Ian Dixon, Gary Rodbard, Peter Jones, John Spencer, Paul Sharman, Gill Sharman, Gary Sanders , Fiona Sanders, Rob Macardle, Gary Winckless.

And a thank you to Bob Reay for handing over the torch.

Jamie Stenson, Census Organiser, Leicester Branch