Great British Beer Festival

Half pint the most popular way to try a new beer

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Research reveals half pint the most popular way to try new beers

Related tags: Great british beer, British beer festival, Beer, Camra

The half pint glass is now the most popular way to try a new beer, according to research revealed by Campaign for Real Ale today.

The survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by CAMRA and undertaken by independent research company YouGov, shows that 34% of drinkers opt for a half pint glass when trying a new beer, whereas a joint 26% opt for a pint glass or third of a pint glass.

CAMRA said this shows people are opting to drink less, and be more adventurous in their choices.

Chief Executive Tim Page said: “With more than 1,200 breweries in the UK, and more beer styles being brewed than ever before, Britain has seriously got the beer bug.

“People are becoming more open to trying new beers and moving away from the mentality of drinking pint-after-pint of the same brew.

“Particularly for stronger, more full flavoured real-ales such as barley wines, or strong porters and stouts, a half or third of a pint is a much more sensible option and allows people to try a range of beers without drinking past their limits.”

The surprising findings prompted CAMRA to encourage drinkers lose the pint and focus on trying a range of beers different beers at the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, London, this week. CAMRA ‘Real Ale Trails’ ask beer lovers to try specific styles in third pints –as part of the ‘beer explorer’ theme of this year’s event.

The research also showed people believed the best place to try a new beer for the first time was at a beer festival at 41%, secondly at a pub at 37%, whereas trying beer at home was favoured by just 5%.

“Particularly at events like the Great British Beer Festival, people are as interested in tasting as they are in drinking,” Page said.

“The best way to try the widest range of beers is to opt for a smaller sized glass. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young, old, male or female, if you’re really interested in trying what’s on offer at an event with over nine hundred different real ales, international beers, ciders and perries, then it makes sense to opt for a half or a third.”

More than 200,000 pints are expected to be drunk by the 50,000+ attendees to the Great British Beer Festival this week, which is run by a thousand volunteers from CAMRA.

Tickets are available at​, or pay on the door.

CAMRA's survey aims to build on the support for sampling of real ale and responsible drinking, and for licensees not to charge a disproportionate price for a half pint, compared to a pint.

CAMRA is also calling on licensees to clearly display the price of half pint measures, especially if they are substantially higher proportionally.

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