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British Beer is, arguably, the finest drink on the planet.

In the right hands, Barley produces tastes as subtle and varied as the finest grapes.


Thanks usually come at the end of a piece but they are deserved up front here. Our short brewing history - just two generations - was inspired by some of the finest brewers and breweries in the world. Even in the dark days of the Big Six, some Regional and Local Breweries kept the yeast bubbling and we will always be grateful to them. What we do, we do thanks to their vision and commitment to keeping ale real.

The UK's brewing scene in 2016 is remarkably vibrant and positive with tens of thousands of beers in hundreds of styles from thousands of breweries. A far cry from the bad old days of the 1970's with the Big Six national brewers and just three - yes, just three, pub breweries left.

Those of us with low CAMRA membership numbers (there have been at least 150,000 newbies since I joined) may get a bit grumpy about the definition of craft beers but by and large we should applaud the diversity of what we can drink today. If we don't like one fashion, there'll be another one along in a minute!

And imagine the grin when we heard the news that David Bruce was once more involved in brewing at the West Berkshire Brewery - and yes, there's the occasional brew of Dogbolter!

The downside is the continuing pressure on that unique institution - the British Pub. If you enjoy the fruits of the labours of British Breweries, support your local - a decent beer always tastes better in a decent pub!

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