Real ale is the name given to beer brewed in the traditional way. Real ales are reportedly tastier than the mass produced varieties normally served in pubs and offer far more choice of types and flavours. Types include ale, mild, bitter and porter, each having distinct characteristics.
CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) is an organisation which champions smaller brewers and campaigns for Real Ale to be sold in pubs and restaurants instead of the more common mass produced brands. CAMRA regularly perform surveys of pubs to highlight landlords who may be short changing customers by serving less than a full measure of ale.
Examples of Real Ale
As Real Ales are often produced in small breweries or microbreweries and are not mass marketed like Coors or Fosters, there seems to be a tradition of eccentric names given to the brews. Some good examples of Real Ale are "Dark Ruby Mild" produced by the small Sarah Hughes brewery near Birmingham, Moorhouses "Black Cat" from Lancashire, "Bishop's Finger" by Shepherd Neame in North Kent, "Copper Dragon" from Yorkshire and "Radgie Gadgie" by Mordue in North Shields.