King Charles III said pubs were part of the fabric of the nation and played a crucial role in our communities in the 50th edition of the Good Beer Guide, which had its West Midland launch in Wolverhampton yesterday(THU).
His Majesty, who was still Prince of Wales at the time, wrote the foreword in the latest edition of the guide, the brainchild of former Wolverhampton journalist Michael Hardman.
His Majesty wrote: "Pubs are interwoven in the very fabric of British history, and they are still a much-loved and vital asset of local communities up and down the country.
"Over 20 years ago, I helped to establish Pub is The Hub which brings rural needs and licensees together to inspire local initiatives, so I do know that pubs can be an incredible force for good."
The King said pubs raised more than £100 million a year for charity and provided £40 million worth of support to grassroots sports.
The King also praised the role that many pubs and their staff played during the pandemic.
"From serving free school meals for children, to selling necessities and supplies for residents and trying to counter loneliness through virtual events, quizzes and groups, pubs truly have been at the heart of their communities, even when they were not able to operate as a business."
The King said pubs and breweries continued to suffer huge challenges in the wake of the pandemic. But he said he was delighted by the efforts of the Campaign for Real Ale – which published the guide – to support them.
"This book provides an insight into the rich tapestry of UK pub culture, and a keepsake for years to come as we look to the next 50 years," he said.
"If we want to support and protect the pubs of tomorrow, I can only urge you to use this guide to visit the very best pubs the nation has to offer today."