Choice for British Beer drinkers is booming, according to the Campaign For Real Ale (Camra).
In the organisation's Good Beer Guide 2006 edition published today, 80 new breweries are listed, which is almost twice as many as last year.
Guide editor Roger Protz said that although the Chancellor's introduction of progressive beer duty had helped drive growth, the main reason for the boon was consumer demand.
"Beers with aroma and flavour are back in vogue and smaller breweries are rushing to meet the clamour from consumers," said Protz.
Camra said there are now 500 micros, 35 family owned breweries and several bigger regional producers operating in the UK, providing greater choice for the public than at any time since the organisation was formed in 1971.
West Yorkshire has the most breweries producing cask ale with 28 in total. Greater Manchester is second with 23 and North Yorkshire third with 22.
By Chris Druce
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