Great British Beer Festival kicks off in London

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags British beer festival Beer Great british beer festival

Great British Beer Festival kicks off in London
The number of ale drinkers and real ale breweries in the UK have risen significantly over the past five years, creating a new market for more growth, says CAMRA as the Great British Beer Festival opens its doors today in London.

According to new research released today by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale), the number of drinkers trying real ale for the first time has risen 40 per cent over the past five years, while an additional 200 breweries have been opened in the marketplace.

This growth, said CAMRA national chairman Colin Valentine, is set to continue as “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,” he said.

The festival, which is expected to attract 65,000 visitors, will open today at 5pm at Earl’s Court, London, and will run until Saturday 6 August.

Around 300 brewers from across Britain will be showcasing their products, making up over 1,000 British ales and foreign beers, as well as 120 real ciders and perries.

British breweries

There are currently 800 operational breweries across the UK, with a renewed interest in London, which has seen the number of breweries opening doubled since 2006, from seven to 14.

“For too long many Londoners haven’t had a brewery in their locality, and yet in the space of 5 years, each area of the great city now has a brewer to call its own,” said Des de Moor, author of CAMRA’s recently released guide to London’s Best Beer, Pubs and Bars​.

“With the growth of brewing in the capital, a new breed of discerning, savvy consumers have emerged, with beer drinkers who appreciate quality, provenance, craftsmanship, natural ingredients, flavour and character above the bland, processed conformity of international brands.”

For more information on CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival see the festival website.

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