Community pubs must be seen as part of the solution to solving alcohol related issues, according to Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw.
In an interview in CAMRA's Beer magazine Bradshaw - who is licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe's boss - states: "We do have to face up to the fact that we have an alcohol problem in this country. I think real ale and real cider, community pubs and CAMRA itself are part of the solution.
"There are very few people who behave anti-socially after drinking a couple of pints of real ale. I suspect people who like real ale and cider are drinking it like wine fans drink wine. You are drinking it for the taste, rather than to get drunk."
Bradshaw, a CAMRA member, goes on to blame lager and "alcopops" for irresponsible drinking.
"Why should real ale be preserved? Lose real ale and we'd lose an excellent drink for a start.
"We'd also lose a valuable part of our heritage and culture.
"We'd lose the responsible and social drinking culture which goes with real ale - gaining the irresponsible drinking culture which seems to go with lager and alcopops.
"Traditional pubs have also provided a vital part of our heritage in providing venues for live music, which we could lose if patrons like CAMRA members do not protect them."
The full interview appears in the Beer magazine which is sent quarterly to all CAMRA members and is also available for members to read at www.camra.org.uk