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Micropubs on the rise as proportion of outlets serving real ale hits 70% says Camra

Published:  10 September, 2015

The Campaign for Real Ale says seven out of 10 British pubs now serve cask ale.

Its research comes as the organisation launches the 2016 edition of the Good Beer Guide which highlights the rise of micropubs in taking real ale to parts of the high street that traditional pubs can't reach.

Camra says the number of micropubs could hit 200 by the end of the year, from a standing start a decade ago.

Micropubs typically occupy disused buildings, often closed down shops, serving real ale in a no frills, low-cost environment

Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz said: "Micropubs prove the old saying that small is beautiful.

"Many of them are based in disused buildings, they have low overheads and can offer beer at sharper prices than many traditional pubs.

"They have carved out a new relationship between drinkers, publicans and brewers."

Martyn Hillier opened what is credited as the first micropub, the Butcher's Arms, in Herne, Kent, in 2005 and has founded the Micropub Association.

"Micropubs go back full-circle to how pubs used to be, when people actually talked to one another," he says. "If you get 15 people together in a nice environment then conversations are going to spark.

"The quality of beer is parallel to the conversation and is the reason people visit in the first place. Real ale is central to everything for us."

Micropub One In The Wood in Orpington was recently named pub of the year for Greater London by Camra and features in the guide, along with West Midlands winner Hail To The Ale in Wolverhampton

Micropub prices are kept keen by the low overheads, says Camra, and customers are often involved in choosing what appears on the bar by requesting beers.

Protz says: "Micropubs are appearing like mushrooms at dawn and are offering beer lovers choice, keen prices and convivial meeting places."