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Halves overtaking pints in popularity

New research released today to coincide with the Great British Beer Festival in London shows the half pint glass is now the most popular way to drink a new beer.

The survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and undertaken by independent research company YouGov, shows that 34% of drinkers opt for a half pint glass when trying a new beer, whereas a joint 26% opt for a pint glass or third of a pint glass. CAMRA say this shows people are opting to drink less, but be more adventurous in their choices,

“With more than 1,200 breweries in the UK, and more beer styles being brewed than ever before, Britain has seriously got the beer bug. People are becoming more open to trying new beers and moving away from the mentality of drinking pint-after-pint of the same brew. Particularly for stronger, more full flavoured real-ales such as barley wines, or strong porters and stouts, a half or third of a pint is a much more sensible option and allows people to try a range of beers without drinking past their limits.” Tim Page, CAMRA Chief Executive.

halvesThe surprising result that the third of a pint was equally as popular as the pint glass has prompted CAMRA to encourage people to give the size a go and try a number of different beers at the Great British Beer Festival taking place at Olympia this week. CAMRA ‘Real Ale Trails’ have been made a key part of the festival and encourage people to try specific beer styles in third of a pint measures – all as part of the ‘beer explorer’ theme of this year’s event.

The research also showed that people believed the best place to try a new beer for the first time was at a beer festival (41%) or secondly at a pub (37%), whereas trying beer at home was favoured by just 5% of people.

 “Particularly at events like the Great British Beer Festival, people are as interested in tasting as they are in drinking – and the best way to try the widest range of beers is to opt for a smaller sized glass. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young, old, male or female, if you’re really interested in trying what’s on offer at an event with over nine hundred different real ales, international beers, ciders and perries, then it makes sense to opt for a half or a third.” Tim Page added.

Over 200,000 pints in total are expected to be drunk by the 50,000+ attendees to the Great British Beer Festival this week, which is run by over a thousand volunteers from the Campaign for Real Ale.

CAMRA’s survey builds on calls by its members for pubs to encourage sampling of real ale and responsible drinking by not charging a disproportionate price for a half pint, compared to a pint. CAMRA is also calling on licensees to clearly display the price of half pint measures, especially if they are substantially higher proportionally than the price of a pint.