More than half of publicans are upbeat about trading for the first time since the early 2000s, according to the Good Pub Guide 2013, which is released today. The guide names Brunning & Price as its Pub Group of the Year and the Cock in Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, operated by the five-strong Cambscuisine group, as its Pub of the Year. In its introduction, the book, which lists 4,700 pubs including 252 new entries, says there’s been “clear signs of a turnaround” this year. “Most strikingly, the mood among publicans themselves is changing. Each year, we speak to many hundreds of landlords and landladies. This year, for the first time since the early 2000s, most have been more upbeat - even if still keeping their fingers crossed.” The guide says customers are fuelling the optimistic mood, and they are reacting positively to the increasingly good value on offer. The price of an average meal has risen by just 1% in a year, and one in four pubs have cut their prices in 2012. Meanwhile, there have been fewer complaints from readers about customer standards than at any point in the guide’s history. Other observations: - North/South beer price division remains. In Surrey and London, the price of a typical pint of beer is around £3.50. In the Midlands and the North it’s under £3. Staffordshire pubs charge an average of £2.56 a pint. - Pubs embrace flexible opening. More than half open all day, every day. One quarter stay open all day for part of the week, usually weekends. One in four also serve some sort of food all day. About one in 15 open before 11am, with a growing number serving breakfasts. - More pubs add rooms. At least four in 10 pubs in the guide now have bedroom, “a great increase over the last decade”.