A new report has shown that, for the first time in two decades, cask ale sales increased by 1.6% across the country.
The annual Cask Report also revealed traditionally brewed beers account for 8% of the total beer market.
In Derby, the rise is being put down to real ale being enjoyed by more and more younger drinkers.
Trevor Harris, of Derby Brewing Company, said: “The success of real ale in Derby has attracted younger drinkers and that has led to higher sales.
“Things have been steadily improving over the last three years but particularly in the last year.”
Across the country, it is now served in 19% of town centre bars, 11% of independent food-led pubs and 55% of community and traditional pubs.
The Cask Report, however, does criticise pub chains for keeping too many cask ales in store rooms and rotating them too quickly.
It claimed the average managed pub has between one and two permanent ales and three to four rotating guest ales at any one time.
Mr Harris, whose company runs The Greyhound, in Friar Gate, The Brewery Tap, in Derwent Street, and The Queen’s Head, in Little Eaton, said the findings of the Cask Report were reflected in Derby.
He said: “Real ale is a wonderful drink which you just can’t get in the supermarkets.
“It is our national drink and I think the Government needs to realise this and give independent brewers the support they deserve.
“It is all about the experience of going out and having a pint and the attraction is shifting away from it being an ‘old man’s’ drink to being one enjoyed by a lot of different people.”
Despite the success of real ale, the report showed that overall beer consumption in Britain has continued its downward trend, currently dropping at a rate of 3.5% annually.
Cask Report author Pete Brown wrote: “This demonstrates the continuing success of cask ale versus other beers.
“Now is undoubtedly a good time to focus on cask and to exploit its pulling power in terms of attracting more people off their sofas and into the pub.”
Although the report also showed more than half of all adults in Britain have tried cask ale at some point, Mr Brown believes more can still be done to attract new drinkers.
He wrote: “Cask ale appeals to its regular drinkers because of the variety of flavour and styles and it also helps drinkers express their support for beliefs and institutions they care about.
“Talking about cask’s flavour and variety as well as its naturalness, tradition and provenance is therefore key in educating the majority of occasional drinkers and persuading them to drink cask more often.”
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