ALE 26th Cambridge Beer Festival No. 295

The Beerage

Four brewers make about 85% of the beer in this country (Carlsberg-Tetley, Bass, Whitbread and Scottish Courage), all backed by saturation advertising to overcome the blandness. Regional and family brewers such as Batemans and Greene King make about 14% and the craft brewers such as City of Cambridge and Fenland make about 1%.
[Source: Mike Benner, in Cheers To Inns Feb. 1999]

The big brewers love to say that real ale is in decline - by which they mean the entire market. No doubt their 85% of the market is in decline - it's no loss - but many of the new pub chain companies are investing heavily in traditional pubs with high-quality beers from the other 15%.

There is much to fight for still

Corporate accountants and marketing executives are forcing through mergers, disposals, closures and rebranding to please institutional shareholders and investment analysts, with real consumer choice the biggest casualty.

We can expect a marketing blitz this summer, led by the likes of Bass, all pushing brand concepts rather than anything of genuine quality.

CAMRA membership

Join CAMRA now and help fight for consumer rights and beer quality!
You can join at the CAMRA Products stand.


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