The real ale brewing business is bouncing back!
Last year, as banks went bust and industries collapsed, new micro-breweries opened at the rate of two per week across Britain, as our hobgoblins stole back the domain of the lagerboys.
But the Government seems hell-bent on putting a hole in a rare industry performer… with ever-more pernicious duties and taxes.
Local authorities seem desperate to back their brickbats, with “stings” on some notable real ale champion pubs such as JD Wetherspoon.
Indeed, Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin handed the journalists who now run Hand-Pumped a nationwide herogram in front of a million readers, in his Wetherspoon News magazine last year, for helping beat off one such attempt to close down a popular pub for no good reason.
Ironically, all these sticks used to beat a reviving industry, are allegedly aimed at targeting “problem drinkers” – which real ale lovers certainly are NOT.
So let’s take a look at a few facts, figures and fables from the booming world of real ale.
There are now 7.8
million cask ale drinkers. Some 37 per cent of them
tried it for the first time in the past 10 years,
and 10 per cent within the past 12 months
● Among them is a growing number of 18 to 24-year-olds as youth starts to rediscover real beer, although cask ale is still a drink of “grown-ups”… with an upward spiral of discoverers from around the age of 35!
Distribution of cask ale rose by four per cent in 2010, finding its way into 2,500 new pubs and clubs
Cask ale drinkers love beer but they’re hardly the fabled “boozers” – in fact, they are more likely to eat pub food with their pint than any other form of drinker
However, beer duty has risen 35 per cent in the three years to 2011 – with the Chancellor imposing particularly swingeing new duties on high-strength beers
And pub closures continue to run at an average of 25 per week, showing still a way to go… Present our content with sufficient technical detail to make it invaluable to the brewer, whilst being of consuming interest to the real ale end user – the drinker!
But we at Hand-Pumped will shine a torch to light the real ale brewers’ path!