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Good Beer Guide features West Midlands microbreweries

New research has revealed the slump at the pump is over as region's independent breweries are now setting up in record numbers

Andrew Williams, from the Erdington-based Froth Blowers Brewing Company, which features in the Good Beer Guide

New research has revealed the slump at the pump is over - with independent breweries now setting up in record numbers across the region.

The Good Beer Guide has featured a host of new West Midlands microbreweries following years of decline in the trade.

The prestigious publication, produced by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), also proved pubs are in rude health with 102 new entries, including eight from around Birmingham city centre.

They are: The Old Fox in Hurst Street, The Shakespeare in Summer Row, The Queen's Arms in Newhall Street, The Craven Arms in Upper Gough Street, The William Tyler in Yardley, The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, Inn On The Green in Acocks Green and The Woodman in New Canal Street.

The list of microbreweries also includes the family-run Froth Blowers based, in Erdington, which produces real ales with names like Piffle Snonker, Gollop With Zest and Hornswoggle.

Director and head brewer Andrew Williams, 45, said the real ale success was down to the hard graft he, brother Neil and stepfather David Woodhead had put in.

"It's absolutely fantastic to be featured in the guide," said Andrew, from Sutton Coldfield.

"We're a start-up brewery that has only been going for about a year so this is very good news for us.

"The love of ale is why we started the company. People are always looking for different beers, instead of the brand tasteless beers on offer.

"Compared to other major cities Birmingham has not got a lot of choice. Places like Sheffield and Derby for example, smaller cities, have breweries galore. Go back 100 years and Birmingham was rife with brewers."

Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz said nationally there had been a ten per cent growth in the launch of breweries, meaning the UK now had more per head than any other country in the world.

"It's fantastic to see a continued growth in local brewing which has been encouraged by an increased interest in local ales. It's welcome news for ale lovers as more breweries means more choice," he said.

Meanwhile, the Beacon Hotel in Sedgley has made it through to the last 16 of the UK finals of CAMRA's Pub of the Year competition after being judged the best in the region.

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