"The appeal of real ale to a generation of younger, affluent and sociable drinkers has thrown a lifeline to pubs struggling to stay open in the depths of the recession, claims a new report.
"The UK beer market is dominated by the big keg lagers, such as Carling and Foster's, but their share shrank by 7% last year. However, cask beer, or real ale, now has a 15% share of the UK beer market, equating to about one in six pints drunk.
"While total on-trade beer volumes fell by 7.8% in 2010, cask fell by only about 2% - and the report says 7.8 million people drink cask beer in the UK, an 11% increase since 2007.
"Pete Brown, author of The Cask Report 2011-12, said: "Cask ale can help pubs to not only survive but thrive ... as our report reveals cask is shaking off its historic flat-cap image and is seen by younger consumers as a cool drink.""