Research from Oxford University shows that the happiest people in society are those who live near a pub and use it as a social hub. They meet friends there (and tend to have more of them than other people), they enjoy better life satisfaction, and are less likely to drink to excess.
It’s also a factor in people’s quest in where they want to live in the first place – buying a house near a pub comes below good transport links in most people’s tick list, but ranks close to the proximity of supermarkets and schools.
Gazing out of my office window – handily within walking distance of several pubs – I can see we’ve just about shaken off the winter blues and look forward to the lengthening days, a ray or two of sunshine – all of which should translate into the sound of pub tills ringing.
There’s so much to look forward to in March with beer festivals in the diary, St Patrick’s Day, Mothers’ Day, the Cheltenham Festival, season-defining matches for our football clubs, and the introduction of new beer styles that reflect the changing season.
The development of our pubs is also a fascinating aspect of today’s leisure industry – immensely pleasing refurbishments such as The Brown Bear in Berwick, and the micropub phenomenon characterised by the Town Mouse in Newcastle and the One-Eyed Stag in Whickham, Gateshead.
And, while we’re on the pub theme, let’s extend huge congratulations to the region’s Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) Pubs of the Year. Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Editor, Cheers North East