More British breweries than since the Blitz

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Real ale: Not just for old soldiers Winston Churchill and Bernard Montgomery
Real ale: Not just for old soldiers Winston Churchill and Bernard Montgomery

Related tags: Beer, Brewing, Britain

Britain now boasts more than 800 breweries; a higher total than at any time since the Second World War, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The pressure group’s Simon Reed told FoodManufacture.com: “100 new breweries opened only last year. We believe the total could reach 1000 within the next year to 18 months.”

Factors behind the boost for British breweries are: Their higher profile since the closure of Young's Brewery two years ago, heightened awareness of food and drink provenance and an influx of innovative people into the brewing industry, said Reed.

There has also been a 40% increase in the number of drinkers trying real ale for the first time, according to CAMRA.

Meanwhile, the first pints in CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival will be pulled at Earls Court in London tomorrow (Wednesday, August 3.) Britain’s biggest beer festival is expected to attract 65,000 thirsty visitors over the five-day event.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA national chairman said: “There are promising times ahead for the industry when a new era of discerning consumers are demanding quality products that are locally produced and represent good value for money.

"The fact many brewers in the current climate are reporting record like-for-like sales increases shows this renewed interest is not about to end, and the Great British Beer Festival is the showcase for the present growth of the industry.”

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