Britain has seen a boom in the number of microbreweries launched in the last few years, with more existing now than at any other time since the Second World War, according to the newly published Good Beer Guide. The guide published by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) revealed that 70 new breweries were founded between the 2008 and 2009 editions. The UK currently has over 550 craft breweries, following the launch of 80 in 2006 and a further 80 in 2007. The success of microbreweries came as consumers turned their backs on mass produced lagers in favour of local craft beers. The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) reported that small brewers saw an 11% rise in sales, compared with a 10% fall in sales by Stella Artois, the country’s biggest selling premium lager. The body also highlighted that the craft brewing fraternity was not only confined to small players, with major brewers such as Marston’s and Fuller’s having applied to join SIBA. Roger Protz, the editor of the Good Beer Guide, said that long-established regional family brewers had also fared well, with Bateman’s reporting a 10% growth in sales of real ale. Protz said: “In particular, more and more consumers are concerned with how beers are made and the ingredients used. “They prefer beers made and sold locally rather than driven thousands of miles. The success of craft brewing really fits the green, carbon-conscious attitudes of modern consumers.” The comments followed the launch of Camra’s 36th edition of its annual Good Beer Guide.