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Raise a glass to the UK’s burgeoning breweries

PUBLISHED: 16:33 05 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:33 05 October 2016

New breweries are springing up across the UK

New breweries are springing up across the UK

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Demand for real ale is creating a thriving industry that others can emulate

Not so long ago, if you wanted a pint at your local pub your choice was limited to the usual continental lagers, Guinness and a tired old ale from a big brewery.

Real ale was seen as distinctly uncool – the sole preserve of old blokes with beards and philosophy students discussing Karl Marx.

But not any more. Research by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young shows the number of UK breweries has risen by eight per cent to around 1,700 in the past year, fuelled by demand for ‘craft ales’ – or ales, as the rest of us call them.

The news is a welcome ray of light amid the doom and gloom about the decline of British industries.

As well as creating jobs, the breweries are helping to revive the British High Street and stimulate demand for local produce.

And they are not confined to affluent areas, having taken off in towns and cities across the UK.

The industry was kickstarted by tax breaks introduced by Gordon Brown in 2002, and provides a model for the type of businesses the government should continue to champion.

A home-grown industry that supports jobs, uses local produce and creates a quality product that helps us all to socialise. Surely we can all drink to that.

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