What is real ale?

Any beer that is made in the traditional way, to high standards and with care and respect can be called 'real ale'.

This also means that it should undergo secondary fermentation in its container (cask or bottle), and not contain added carbon dioxide. When, during the 1970s, the mega-brewing companies in Britain were scooping up small breweries and flooding the market with their dull, homogenised beer, there seemed a real danger that good, characterful, traditionally-made beers would be driven to extinction. But a vigorous campaign to save real ale has had a major success in raising public awareness, and encouraging drinkers to take an interest in – and to create a market for – the traditional, independent brewers and the new microbreweries.

For more about real ale and the campaign to protect it, visit http://www.camra.org.uk

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