Worrying stats point to the decline of the pub

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The Great British Beer Festival organised by the Campaign for Real Ale, which opened on Tuesday and runs until Saturday, has given itself the aim of reintroducing young people with their local community pub in the wake of damning new research.

This campaign was launched as new findings show that since the Festival was last held at Olympia in 2005 the percentage of young pub goers (18-24 year olds) visiting the pub regularly – once a week or more – has plummeted from 38 per cent to 16 per cent.

During this period more than 8,000 pubs have closed across the country.

And in the last 12 months, 39 per cent of all pub goers have visited the pub less than they did a year ago, or haven’t gone at all.

Camra chief executive Mike Benner said: “Hard working publicans have been hammered by the government in recent times, and what we’ve seen in the past seven years is that young adults in particular have been priced out of an affordable night down their local pub.

“The government has encouraged people to use their pubs as community assets, yet this is a hollow message when punitive increases on the price of a pint have meant that consumers are deterred from visiting their local, causing beer sales figures in this country to fall flat.’

With research in the same poll showing that more than half of regular pub goers prefer to drink at home than the pub because it is cheaper, Camra is also urging pub goers to sign a beer tax e-petition to call for an end to above inflation tax increases on their pint. The petition has attracted over 72,000 signatures, and requires 100,000 to trigger a high profile debate in Parliament.

{Pubgoers can sign the beer tax e-petition by visiting www.saveyourpint.co.uk}