Survey: We’re only here for the beer

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National Cask Ale Week, which runs from October 1 to October 9 is raising a pint to celebrate new research which shows more than half of all adult alcohol drinkers have now tried cask ale, also known as real ale, with 10 per cent having drunk it for the first time in the last 12 months.

This is an impressive increase since 2008 when research showed just over a third had tried ‘Britain’s National Drink’.

Concerned that approximately only one in three alcohol drinkers had tried cask ale in 2008, the real ale breweries and pub industry grouped together to launch a national week of action – National Cask Ale Week – in 2009 to raise the awareness of real ale and encourage more pubs to serve it and pub-goers to try it.

This year’s campaign is spearheaded by the beer quality accreditation body Cask Marque and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) with a number of pubs, pub companies and breweries also supporting the Week.

The theme for this year’s week of action is ‘Try Before You Buy’, with all Cask Marque’s 7,500 accredited licensees having been sent promotional material to advertise the initiative.

Cask Marque director Paul Nunny said: ‘We are excited to be launching this week of action at a time when there is so much variety and choice available to British beer drinkers in the current climate.

“But while we have seen marked growth in the number of people having tried cask ale over the past few years, there is still much work to be done in order to cement it as Britain’s National Drink.

‘With this year’s theme for National Cask Ale Week being ‘try before you buy’, we hope curious consumers new to cask ale make the trip down to their local during the Week and see for themselves why the British beer market is as vibrant as it’s ever been.’

CAMRA chief executive Mike Benner said: ‘Real ale drinkers are shown by these findings to be one of the biggest supporters of their local licensee, and this support is vital at a time when pubs continue to be blighted by increased costs and a decline in trade.

‘National Cask Ale Week this year is all about getting people down their pub during the first week of October to try a real ale from one of their local brewers, or from further afield, and this will only help invigorate the local licensed trade in the long term, as our research has shown.’