It's the age-old debate that has divided pubgoers for centuries – which region has the best pubs – and the Great British Pub Awards 2017 could soon settle the debate once and for all, at least for a while.
Archivists at the UK's premier pub competition, which has now been running for 17 years, have discovered that despite the north-west and south-east being virtually neck and neck when it comes to the all-time prize of the most winners, the north-west has edged ahead.
The region boasts 32 award winners compared with the south-east’s 31 over the past nine years, although both can claim to have two overall Great British Pub Awards winners apiece.
Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: “It would appear to be a straight battle between the north-west and south-east, but there’s still time for other areas to stage a fightback.”
The closest competitor to challenge the two is the south-west, with 21 award-winning operations, while Scotland and Wales bring up the rear with just one top-rated pub each.
East Anglia and the Midlands can boast 11 top businesses, closely followed by the north-east with 10.
Bedington added: “We can clearly see the two top regions for great pubs, but there are plenty of hidden and undiscovered gems across the UK.
“We are calling on all the other regions to get involved – and not let the north-west run away with the top spot.”
The competition sees thousands of pubs across the UK compete across 17 different categories, while one of those category winners will go on to take the overall title of the UK’s best boozer.
“It’s not too late to get your area on the map, and what better way to show off to neighbouring areas than by having the best pubs in the country?” said Bedington.
The deadline for entries is this Friday (19 May).