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UK pubs try to revive ale-ing tradition


12-14-2016 00:57 BJT

For years, the traditional British pub has been in decline. But now the boozers are fighting back, and have a new tool to revive the British cultural mainstay.

The Aeronaut pub in Acton, west London, is quenching Britain’s growing thirst for high quality craft beers and real ales brewed on the premises.

“Usually winter’s day I’ll have a real ale, I like the taste of real ale, I like its temperature, room temperature during the winter, really nice,” said a pub patron.

“It’s very similar to food; you know, people like eating out, they like eating good food and the same goes for beer. They’re tired of boring bland beer and they want something slightly more interesting.”

Every two days in the UK a new brewery opens, according to a survey by Ortus Secured Finance, a lender to the hospitality industry.

“With the prices of everything going up, I think, with the drinks, being able to offer your own stuff that you can cut the cost of and there’s a lot of taste out there for craft beers. The craft ales we can get a lot of flavor out of the different hops and mould that we use,” said Aeronaut deputy manager Oliver O’Conner.

In the last financial year, 480 pubs and bars closed, a drop of 7 percent on the previous year. It is part of a downward trend with a 16 percent fall in the past three years, according to the Ortus survey.

“The decline in pubs is being arrested and I really hope that that’s going to happen over the next few years so that we’re not losing any pubs at all, because without pubs you can’t drink good quality draught beer,” said Michael Hardman, co-founder of Campaign for Real Ale.

The survey says customers are willing to pay more for artisan beer and upmarket food if the pub environment justifies it. While not everyone likes real ale or craft beer, there is new evidence that pub-goers are ready to fight for their barstools.

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