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Cask ales 'sign of hope' for pubs

Cask ale, food and wine by the glass could help reverse pub closures and turn around the trade's fortunes, according to a new report.

A survey of over 300 pub owners showed more than a third feared their prospects over the next few years were poor, with only 28% feeling optimistic.

The increase in drinking at home was seen as a continued threat to pubs, as well as the rising price difference with stores and supermarkets, the study by the Molson Coors Brewing Company found.

Most pub owners expected sales of cask ale to rise, and agreed that more enticing food would help attract more customers.

Pete Brown, who wrote the report, said: "It's no surprise, given the assault on pubs from all corners, that publicans feel pessimistic, but this survey stresses yet again where the signs of hope come from.

"If you're offering the drinker nothing different or more interesting from what he can get in the supermarket, they're not going to come to your pub - but cask ale is unique to pubs."

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From Belfast Telegraph