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Press Release


Cask beer essential to pubs post-lockdown

CAMRA surveys 22,000 pub-goers on drinking habits post-lockdown 


A survey conducted by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) reveals that UK pub-goers are missing cask beer during lockdown and would be much less likely to return to pubs that stop stocking beer from independent, local breweries once they reopen.

The survey of 22,000 pub-goers found:
  • Two-thirds (63%) are most looking forward to a pint of cask beer once pubs can reopen, even more than meeting with friends or having a meal 
  • 68% won’t, or are less likely to, return to a pub that has stopped stocking beer from small or local breweries 

CAMRAs latest figures follow on from  SIBA survey[1] which found that 65% of independent breweries have stopped beer production during lockdown and that there’s been an 82% drop in beer consumption since pubs closed – which means there is likely to be less cask and guest ale options when pubs reopen.

CAMRA has been calling on beer drinkers to support independent breweries, cider makers and pubs buy purchasing beer and cider locally during lockdown. The campaign has produced a map of nearly 3,000 pubs and breweries operating takeaway or delivery services during lockdown and has launched its Brew2You app, which allows customers to search for and purchase local brews in one place generating over £25K in sales for the industry in just three weeks.

CAMRA is also petitioning government to introduce a ‘second wave’ financial support package for pubs and breweries, which will continue to be hard-hit months and years after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

CAMRA’s National Chairman Nik Antona commented on the figures, saying: 

“Our survey of tens of thousands of pub goers shows how intrinsic a pint of quality cask ale is to our pub culture. Unfortunately, it’s likely that cask beer will be the first expense cut from a struggling pub trying to re-open with social distancing measures in place. 

“The majority of consumers want to see their pub continue to stock a range of ales from small, local and independents brewers when they re-open, which is why we are calling on greater Government support to ensure this takes place. We also want to see pub companies support and stock real ales from small and local brewers once their pubs re-open, which includes allowing tied pubs to stock a greater range of locally brewed beers to help get the brewing industry back on its feet.

“Not only is this the right thing to do to help independent breweries to recover from lockdown restrictions, it will also help pubs to attract more customers who are looking for a decent range of high-quality, locally-produced beers.”



[1] SIBA Covid-19 Brewing Industry Survey undertaken April 2020

CAMRA survey

The survey was conducted by CAMRA between 11 May and 18 May. 21941 responses were received, of which 90% were from CAMRA members. 

Please note, all figures are rounded to the nearest percentage point.

How likely would you be to return to a pub if there was no beer from small or local breweries available?

I would not go to that pub at all
I would go to that pub less often
It would make no difference to me
I would go to that pub more often
I would go to that pub much more often


Please rank which of the following aspects of pub-going you are most looking forward to once lockdown is lifted 

A pint of cask beer received 63% of first preference votes. Other answer options were:

  • A pint of cider or perry
  • A pint of non-cask beer
  • Another type of drink served in a pub
  • Conversation with regulars
  • Conversation with pub staff
  • Meeting with friends
  • A meal in a pub
  • Involvement with a social group or team in the pub
  • Other