London, Apr 27: The son of an Italian wine grower has been given a 7,700-pound grant to study English country pubs.
Over the coming 18 months Ignazio Cabras will consider 1,700 establishments in some of the remotest corners of the land.
But the York University academic, who has already visited around 100 licensed premises around the Lake District as part of previous research into village locals, admits he will not be able to get round them all in person.
“I would love to do that, but it would be a massive task,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
“However I shall visit some, just how many depends on what we determine from the data we already have,” he said.
His grant from the British Academy, the national body for the humanities and social sciences, will help him to study the rural pub’s role in the community’s social and economic life.
He hopes his work will help persuade public authorities to find ways of keeping pubs in business in isolated locations.We need to help these pubs and give all the assistance we can to the people trying to save them,” he said.
The 33-year-old lecturer in Economics, Business and Management at York Management School is a committed Anglophile – he took British citizenship last year – and, despite his family owning vineyards in his native Sardinia, is a real-ale enthusiast.
“I am a member of Camra (The Campaign for Real Ale) and I am trying to learn how to brew my own ale, but I have a long way to go.
“If you ask me if I prefer a pint from a big brewer in a Wetherspoons bar, or one from a local brewer in a village pub, then the second option is the best.
“I first came across British beer while I was a student in Italy and liked the taste. My parents are quite interested in my peculiar passion for beer, they say it’s OK as long as I drink responsibly.
“My research does have the added benefit of taking me to places where I can try a beer I have not come across before. There are lots of micro-breweries attached to pubs,” he said.
He first started studying pubs five years ago when living in Cumbria.
“I noticed the locals were very happy, particularly in the villages. I asked them why they lived there and 90 per cent said ‘Because there is a good pub’,” he added. (ANI)