Page last updated at 20:10 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:10 UK

Rise in local brewers' popularity

CAMRA says sales in Devon are bucking the national trend

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has credited the wide variety of beers in Devon for the growth of the industry.

The county has 27 brewers, the fifth highest in England, and the industry is booming despite a national slump in beer sales and a rise in pub closures.

Sales at the Dartmoor Brewery, which started business in 1994, rose by 35% last year.

Owner Simon Lovelass said the brewery was now selling about 200,000 gallons of ale a year.

He believes customers are looking for consistency and quality.

People like to see beer that's been produced on their doorstep
Carol Doree, Royal Oak

"If they come back and buy our products again and again, then everybody's happy," Mr Lovelass told the BBC.

"If they don't like it they shift to somebody else and that's when things start to go downhill."

Landlady Carol Doree, from the Royal Oak in South Brent, said a brewery's "localness" also appeals to customers.

"We do food with local produce, but you can't really see that, whereas with the brewers you've got the name pack which shows it's come from just down the road," she said.

"People like to see beer that's been produced on their doorstep."

Ian Packham, the regional director of the CAMRA, said nationally the number of brewers had been increasing steadily for the past 30 years.

"There's such a variety of different styles and tastes which are growing in popularity here and it's really good news," he said.

"We're definitely bucking the trend of beers in general."

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