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More women are drinking real ale, says Camra

Published:  13 August, 2013

The number of women trying real ale has grown from 14% to 34% in the past three years, according to Camra (Campaign for Real Ale).

Despite overall beer sales in Britain experiencing a steady decline, Camra has welcomed its 150,000th member, as more people, particularly women, try real ale.

Overall UK beer sales have reduced in the past three years by more than 500 million pints while real ale has outperformed the market and even enjoyed a small increase in 2011, according to Camra.

In the same period, more than 250 new real ale breweries have set up business in Britain and new market research shows that the number of people trying real ale has grown from 34% to 53%. Women trying real ale for the first time has grown from 14% to 34% in this period.

Colin Valentine, Camra's chairman said: "We're enjoying a genuine and sustained revival in real ale as it shows the way to success for the UK beer market. There are now more than 1,000 breweries brewing in excess of 8,000 different real ales for consumers to choose from.

"More people are looking for something brewed locally and with so many breweries in Britain, everybody has a local beer to try. It's very exciting that more and more women are trying real ale.

"Our national drink threw off its flat-cap image years ago and now it is increasingly seen as a drink for women as well as men. That trend will help put the whole British beer market back on a track towards growth."

In the past decade Camra membership has more than doubled from 65,000 to 150,000, with women now accounting for 22% of the membership. A growth of 20,000 members in the past decade.

Christine Cryne, a member of Camra's national executive said: "I think that women are realising that beer is a lower-alcohol option than many other drinks and they are associating real ale with social occasions with friends in pubs. It's been great to see the increased number of women attending beer festivals to try the different flavours that are available."

The Great British Beer Festival runs from the August 13-17 at London's Olympia exhibition centre, see for more information.