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Press Release


Beer is the ultimate drink of choice for rugby fans

Image by Matthew Curtis

  • A YouGov survey has found that 42% of rugby fans choose beer when watching a game
  • This week the Great British Beer Festival will boast a prize giveaway, with one lucky attendee winning £3,000 worth of sports travel vouchers
  • Ex-rugby players Tom May and Greg Bateman will kick of the competition tomorrow at the festival during an exclusive Q&A about rugby and beer

According to a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of the Campaign for Real Ale, beer is the ultimate drink of choice for rugby fans.

Out of people that watch rugby, 42% say that beer is their drink of choice – scoring far ahead of alternatives such as cider (14%), wine (8%), spirits (6%), soft drinks (17%) and water (6%) and other (6%), underlying the unique relationship between the sport and beverage.

To celebrate these findings, CAMRA is teaming up with leading Sports Travel Operator MSG Tours – an Official Travel Agent for the Rugby Union World Cup 2023 – to offer £3,000 worth of sports travel vouchers to one lucky visitor at the Great British Beer Festival, taking place this week at Olympia London.

The vouchers will be redeemable through MSG Tours and can be used towards any rugby travel packages including the Six Nations and official travel packages to Rugby Union World Cup France – complete with hotels, flights, transfers, and inclusions.

Festival attendees can enter the prize draw on-site – included free as part of their ticket price – while enjoying a huge range of cask and craft beers, ciders and perries. All they need to do is find one of the competition codes at the festival and enter it at https://gbbf.org.uk/luckydraw/

Launching the competition, ex-rugby union players Tom May and Greg Bateman will be down on the festival grounds tomorrow to talk about beer and sport.

Tom May is a former rugby union player with a nineteen-year long career including two caps for England. Having spent nearly two decades playing professional rugby, Tom is now a Brand Ambassador for Genius Brewing, championing light craft beers to beer lovers looking for a low-calorie, healthier option.

Greg Bateman is a recently retired rugby union player, from Dragons, Leicester Tigers, Exeter Chiefs and London Welsh. While at tigers he founded People’s Captain, a brand that aims to use the social nature of craft beer to bring people together. He’s since dedicated himself to brewing positivity and creating a constructive social impact for the UKs mental health.

Catherine Tonry, Great British Beer Festival organiser adds: “It is a real pleasure to welcome Greg and Tom down to the festival this week, and we’re delighted to be working with MSG Tours to

offer festival-goers an exclusive chance to experience a sports travel package to remember. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for passionate rugby fans to get their hands on tickets for the most sought-after global rugby packages, and we hope they will join us in marking their calendars for a chance to win the grand prize!”

Commercial Director Kev Smith from MSG Tours said: “We’re incredibly excited to be working with CAMRA to promote their flagship event, the Great British Beer Festival. Rugby and beer have a natural affinity and we’re keen to explore this with a long-term partnership to support the cask beer sector.

“The winner of this exclusive ticket and travel package will have a unique opportunity to create a bespoke tour just for them with our supportive and hands on staff. We encourage all passionate rugby supporters to head down to the festival this summer for their chance to win a trip of a lifetime!”

The Great British Beer Festival will take place at Olympia London from Tuesday 2 August until Saturday 6 August. General Admission tickets are £20 and include a souvenir festival glass, brochure and two half pint beer tokens. CAMRA members receive a £2 discount code and VIP tickets, Group Discounts and Season Tickets are also available.

To get your GBBF ticket today, visit https://gbbf.org.uk/tickets/



Invitation to press – join the Q&A tomorrow

The Q&A with Bateman and May will take place on the opening trade day of the festival 2 August at 2 pm in the VIP lounge. To join us, please apply for a press pass at https://gbbf.org.uk/tickets/press/ or contact gbbfpublicityteam@camra.org.uk

There is plenty of exciting events happening throughout the trade day. A full schedule of activity can be found on the press page above.

Notes to editor

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2034 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd and 25th July 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).


Which ONE, if any, of the following is your drink of choice when watching rugby?
Unweighted base 2038
Base: All UK adults 2034
Beer 17%
Cider 6%
Wine 3%
Spirits 2%
Soft drinks 7%
Water 2%
Other 3%
Not applicable – I do not watch rugby 61%