Why our pub culture might be under threat

Peter Janssen has taken the humble pub crawl to a whole new level.

He's just released New Zealand Pubs - 175 Classic Pubs to Visit, and he's found the ones with the best atmosphere and wackiest stories, and the coldest beer -some contest here in our country.

Janssen told The AM Show this morning that the title of the book is actually a lie. 

"The publishers actually asked me to do 150 pubs and I got carried away and even then there are 176," he confessed. 

Number 176, the Beaumont in South Otago, just managed to make the cut. 

"It's a great little pub." 

Janssen says our pubs are a great part of our history, but they're under threat.

"People go overseas to Britain and they say 'oh there's so many great pubs' well, we've got great pubs too," Janssen says. "A lot of them are closing down and I think it would be a really important part of our history to see disappear.

"If anyone's owned an old wooden villa you know how much that costs. Well imagine a villa, but five times bigger, with alcohol rules and regulations."

Janssen says the other problem pubs face is a mental shift, from being a place that serves alcohol, to one that serves food. 

"One guy I spoke to said in the ten years that he's owned a pub the difference between food and alcohol had shifted. It was 70/30 ten years ago [in favour of alcohol], 70 percent food, 30 percent alcohol.

"That's a big shift and if you haven't made that shift it's a problem."

Janssen says a good pub needs good food. 

"It can be a hamburger list but as long as it's good, that's all that matters."