Real ale is defying the slump in beer sales across the pub industry, with locally produced beers showing an 8% increase in trade according to trade figures.

The Society of Independent Brewers said sales of local beers were up by 8% over the past six months, according to The Times.

The numbers contrast with a dip of more than 7% across the beer market as a whole over the three months to the end of September.

Supermarket and off-licence sales fell by 6% over the period, while the fall-off was even more substantial in the on-trade, where business dipped by 8.1% for the quarter.

The news comes after pub operator Mitchells & Butlers reported a 7.8% surge in sales of cask ales – something chief executive Tim Clarke said was “part of a general consumer trend towards quality products with provenance”.