- 53,444 pubs.
- 37,356 pubs serving real ale.
- 150 micropubs.
This means that micropubs represent 0.4% of real ale pubs. The oldest, the Butcher's Arms in Herne, Kent, is now 10 years old, and yet the turnaround in real ale's fortunes goes back a lot longer than that, as we all know. While I fully agree micropubs are a very welcome addition to the real ale scene, I am struggling to see precisely how they are leading the way. As this hype was contained in a CAMRA press release about the next Good Beer Guide, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised: commerce often supplants reality when you've a product to sell.
Still, the good news is that nowadays we generally don't have to hunt very hard to find a reasonable pint as we had to in the past. I say 'generally' because there are certain types of areas in the UK that remain real ale deserts, such as some economically depressed areas, many council estates and anywhere else devoid of a middle class voices and, more importantly, comfortable disposable incomes. The attitude is clearly any old smooth rubbish for the masses.