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Real ale enters a golden age, with 800 breweries in UK

The number of drinkers trying real ale for the first time has increased by 40 per cent in the past few years, while 200 new breweries have opened, a study showed today.

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said there were now over 800 breweries in the UK, reflecting a "surge" of interest in real ale. Camra said the number of breweries in London had doubled since 2006 to 14, with another five being developed.

Colin Valentine, chairman of Camra, said: "It's strange to think that, at the turn of the 21st century, the real ale market was in decline. Yet, in the present day, real ale brewing is recognised as one of the most vibrant areas of the small-business sector, and we now enjoy more brewers than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

"A new era of discerning consumers are demanding locally produced quality products that represent good value for money."