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EATING & DRINKING

Buy that extra pint!

By thirsty hack Ignatius Rake

Posted August 15, 2013
oliver reed
Ollie Reed: Is who you need. (Check bottom for credit)

Buying an extra pint a month could save the British beer and pub industry, new research reveals.


Beer drinkers buying just one extra pint in a pub each a month "is all it would take to push the British beer industry back into growth after years of steady decline", new stats released by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) show.

According to a CAMRA press release, 38% of UK pub goers visit the pub less frequently than they did 12 months ago and as a result beer sales are suffering, with the total volume of beer sold in the country's pubs last year down from 8.2m pints in 2011 to around 7.8m.

What's more, this decline is not merely a one-off aberration but a clear trend.

In 2007, British pub drinkers consumed over 9.5m pints, dropping to 9.1m in 2008; 8.7m in 2009; and 8.4m in 2010.

"The effect is clear to see," CAMRA says, "with 26 pubs a week now closing in the UK."

However, it wouldn't take much "to tip the scales the other way" and push one of Britain's most important and damn-well enjoyable industries back into growth.

"Around 32m people in the UK enjoy a beer at least once a year," says CAMRA CEO Mike Benner, "but the number of people drinking in pubs has been on the decline, contributing to an overall fall in beer sales."

"But with the price of a pint getting a much needed duty cut in this year's budget, there's never been a better time to get down the pub and help save the Great British pub."

"Just a pint a month extra is all it would take."


LET THERE BE BEER!
CAMRA's call to arms not only ties in with the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) taking place in London's Olympia right this very minute, but also supports the national, cross-industry Let There Be Beer campaign, which aims to get more Brits drinking our national tipple, viz beer.

"Real ale is a low-strength [?] drink that, in the main, can only be enjoyed in the sociable and responsible environment of the Great British pub," Benner continues.

"Plus, with more styles and varieties of real ale available than ever before, thanks to an ever growing number of breweries across the UK, there has never been more choice for drinkers."

"Why not take that extra pint a month as a chance to try a new real ale from your region?"

And with over 1,000 British breweries now making over 8,000 different beers1, there’s certainly much in the way of choice.

In fact, the press release continues, "the number of breweries in the UK is now so great that for the first time ever the GBBF will have just one beer each from most breweries to give drinkers the chance to sample more brand new beers than ever before".

"From traditional bitters and stouts to passion fruit-infused pale ales and even a chocolate and bacon porter, the GBBF will feature both the weird and the wonderful, with around 400 real ales for the predicted 55,000 attendees to choose from."

So get supping and save Britain's boozers, yeah?


Chief hack's note: Hang on. If "around 32m people in the UK enjoy a beer at least once a year", how come only 7.8m pints get sold? Is someone giving away loads of free pints or something? Or are shedloads of people quaffing their ale in thimbles these days? Whatever. Time to get the pints in.


See also GBBF starts tomorrow, posted 12/8/13, and Elland 1872 wins gold again, posted 14/8/13.


Footnote


1) According to CAMRA, there are more than 6,200 cask beers with an availability of between 3-12 months of the year currently being produced in the UK as well as a further 1,800 bottle-conditioned ales. We strongly advise you to try them all.


Picture credit

Top and thumb: Oliver Reed in 1968 by Nijs, Jac. de / Anefo.

For licensing information click the above link.


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