Good Beer Guide shows industry in rude health

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More than 80 new breweries and hundreds of pubs have been added to the new CAMRA Good Beer Guide, which is out today.The guide also names the best 16...

More than 80 new breweries and hundreds of pubs have been added to the new CAMRA Good Beer Guide, which is out today.

The guide also names the best 16 pubs in the UK as voted for by CAMRA members.

Editor of the guide Roger Protz said progressive beer duty (PBD), which halved the duty paid on anyone producing less than 60,000 hectolitres of beer a year, and an increase in consumer demand for real ales were boosting the health of pubs and smaller brewers.

Mr Protz said: "PBD has been an incentive for people to come into the industry because they know they can afford it. It's also been a big boost to existing companies, where margins were so tiny they were thinking of packing up.

"The other reason for the astonishing number of new breweries is our old friend consumer demand. Just look at the Great British Beer Festival. Attendance was up. The place was absolutely dry by the last day."

Colin Smith and his wife Dawn took on the Rising Sun in Brentwood in April 2002 when it didn't carry a single ale. Despite being told it didn't sell, the Smiths persevered with and now have a good real ale following, which has culminated in their entry in this year's guide.

Mr Smith said: "It feels great to be added to the list. It's the ultimate achievement. We'll put up the posters saying we're in it, and hopefully attract more customers so I can get more real ales put on.

"It's proved to be a good seller and it's brought in customers I want to see in the pub. I've even converted my future son-in-law to being a real ale drinker from Stella!"

For a copy of the Good Beer Guide 2007, priced £14.99, call CAMRA on 01727 867 201 or by logon to

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