The doubling of membership by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, over the last ten years has been driven by women joining the organisation. Despite an overall decline in British beer sales, CAMRA has just welcomed its 150,000th member as increasing numbers of people, particularly women, try real ale.
Overall UK beer sales have reduced in the last three years by more than 500 million pints. In the same period, more than 250 new real ale breweries have set up business and the number of women trying real ale for the first time has grown from 14% to 34% in this short period.
Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s Chairman said, “It’s very exciting that more and more women are trying real ale. Our national drink threw off its flat cap image years ago and now it is increasingly seen as a drink for women as well as men.”
Christine Cryne, a member of CAMRA’s National Executive said, “The upsurge in interest in real ale amongst women in the UK is in no small part thanks to the sheer range of beer which is now available. At the Great British Beer Festival this year, there are beers that range from rich and chocolaty Stouts to light and citrusy Golden Ales perfect for summer sipping. I think that women are realising that beer is a lower alcohol option than many other drinks and they are associating real ale with social occasions with friends in pubs.”
At the Great British Beer Festival last week, beer was served in third of a pint stemmed glasses. This was a very shrewd marketing move because a third pint glass (189 ml) of the flavoursome and hoppy Oakham Citra beer makes an extremely credible alternative to a standard glass (175 ml these days) of a fruity new world wine – with less than half the alcohol!