The growing popularity of golden ales is drawing female and younger drinkers into the ale category, according to research by the Campaign for Real Ales (Camra).
It comes as British brewers step up innovation in the relatively new category in a bid to compete against the rise in sales of Continental-style lagers in recent years.
Camra’s research, released at the Great British Beer Festival, showed that 48% of people who had tried real ale, and 54% of the women surveyed said they preferred the golden varieties to those darker in colour.
Mike Benner, Camra’s chief executive said: “There is a clear trend developing towards the new golden ales and this is good news for the real ale market.”
To reflect this rise in interest, Camra added a Golden Ale category to the Champion Beer of Britain Awards for the first time. The award was won by Crouch Vale brewery for its Brewers Gold ale, also the winner of the Champion Beer of Britain 2005.
Many of the big beer launches at the festival also fell into the golden ale category. Suffolk brewer Adnams launched its Explorer beer while Lincolnshire family brewer Batemans launched its Valiant golden beer at the event.
Meanwhile, Fuller’s Brewery said its recently launched golden ale, Discovery, was performing very well.
“We are absolutely delighted with sales of Discovery since its launch in May this year,” said David Spencer, brands marketing manager for Fullers.