There is a fresh wave of 'socially conscious' brewers growing across Britain, according to CAMRA.


The claim, made by the campaign group as it launches this year's Good Beer Guide and National Pub of the Year competition, states many new breweries place an emphasis on giving back to the local community by supporting charities or providing training and employment opportunities.

gbg_2018_cvr_5_for_shop_1.pngIndependent breweries are also becoming increasingly environmentally aware, reducing their carbon footprint, and providing more information on ingredients. 

There are also many more gluten free, vegan friendly and low alcohol beer options now, as new breweries attempt to open up the market for such products.

Examples of breweries include Ignition in Sydenham, south London, which employs and trains people with learning difficulties to brew beer; The Tap Social Movement in Oxford, which provides effective rehabilitation for people serving prison sentences; and Keswick Brewery in the Lake District, which uses sheep wool to insulate brewing vessels and reduce its environmental impact.

Tom Stainer, chief communications officer for CAMRA, said that pubs had "been keeping pace" with breweries on community issues too.

He said: "Community-run pubs have helped to diversity the traditional pub offering to make them more welcoming to all sectors of society."


Pub of the year

CAMRA also named its shortlist for National Pub of the Year alongside the launch of the Good Beer Guide.

The top 16 contenders include micropubs, street-corner locals and community-run pubs. Many on the list brew their own beer, host beer festivals, music and community events.


Regional Winners List





Central Southern - Nag's Head, Reading

With a wide range of real ales, ciders and perries, visitors can be sure to find something to their taste.

East Anglia - Chequers, Little Gransden

The multi-award winning village pub has been owned and run by the same family for over 60 years and in the Good Beer Guide for 24 of them. 

East Midlands - White Hart, Bargate

Local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2017 and 2018, the cosy two-roomed pub in the heart of Bargate has a selection of changing cask ales. 

Greater London - Little Green Dragon, Enfield

Formally a hairdressers, the Little Green Dragon was the area's first micropub and voted the local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2018. 

Greater Manchester - Flying Horse, Rochdale

The Flying Horse is an Edwardian-stone free house situated in the town hall square with up to 10 cask ales sold alongside four real ciders. 

Kent - Lanes, Dover

This friendly, award-winning micropub has five real ales, mostly from Kentish microbreweries, and over 10 ciders are served on gravity from the temperature-controlled cellar room. 

Merseyside - Cricketers Arms, St Helens

CAMRA's current national Pub of the Year, the Cricketers Arms has established itself as an excellent cask ale pub, with 13 handpumps on the bar. 

North East - Golden Smog, Stockton-on-Tees

Four real ales and two real ciders are served alongside an impressive range of Belgian beers, all in matching glasses. 

Scotland and Northern Ireland - Volunteer Arms (Staggs), Musselburgh

Run by the same family since 1858, the bar and snug are traditional with wooden floors, wood panelling and mirrors from defunct local breweries. 

South West - Fleece Inn, Hillesley

The Fleece Inn is an attractive 17th century village pub set in the heart of Hillesley. It has a single bar with a wood-burning stove, a separate lounge/dining room and a snug area. 

Surrey and Sussex - Surrey Oaks, Newdigate

This attractive 16th century inn is renowned for its commitment to good quality real ale from microbreweries. Six handpumps, one of which offers a dark ale, and a dozen ciders and perries provide great choice. 

Wales - Bridge End Inn, Ruabon

This traditional pub has a changing range of eight ales and will usually include a brew from the on-site McGivern brewery when it is operational. 

Wessex and the Channel Islands - Wonston Arms, Wonston

A true community pub in the heart of the village, the Wonston Arms serves four real ales from local breweries plus 160 gins.

West Midlands - Fountain Inn, Leek

10 handpulls with eight serving real ales and two serving ciders, the pub prides itself on having an ever-changing choice often from less well known and local breweries. 

West Pennines - Little Bare, Morecambe

A former off-licence, this micropub opened in 2017, retaining the original shop window.

Yorkshire - George & Dragon, Hudswell

A former National Pub of the Year in 2016. Rescued and refurbished in 2010 after a successful community buyout, it now features its own library, shop, allotments and other local facilities.