Real ale buffs say there's no need for those taking part in Sober October to avoid the pub - here's why

Wiganers taking part in Sober October needn’t spurn their local for a month, a real ale expert has said.

While many people are abstaining from liquor at the moment, often for good causes, Wigan CAMRA chairman Sandy Motteram says that it is still possible to enjoy the pub without breaking the pledge.

Watch our video for Sandy’s top tips for alcohol-free beers and lagers which mean there is no need for a lapse in support for a pub and brewing industry which is facing soaring bills and still recovering from the impact of long-term closures during the Covid pandemic.

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Many in the hospitality industry have been putting up the shutters in recent years, so a month-long extra dip in custom is the last thing surviving businesses need.

Sandy Motteram, chair of Wigan CAMRA, tries a selection of alcohol-free beers for Sober for October charity campaign and suggests how we can support pubs at this time.

Data shows that the number of pubs in the UK has been decreasing steadily for several decades. From 2000 to 2019, pub numbers have declined by 13,600 or 22 per cent, meanwhile 2010 to 2020 saw a decline of 15 per cent.

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Sandy said: “Now is not the time to cut off the pubs and brewing industry, at a time that is the hardest it has ever been.

"Things don’t look like they’ll get better any time soon, but going sober does not mean that you can’t go to the pub.”

Sandy says there is now a good choice of non-alcoholic beers from which to choose

Many bars and pubs now stock a wide range of non alcoholic beverages for customers to enjoy throughout the year, but especially during a month of sobriety.

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In addition to this, many of these establishments also have the best coffee machines and serve some of the best indepemdently made coffee in the town.

Sandy, like many, believes that the impact of pubs within the local community cannot be underestimated and so is keen to encourage people to continue going to their local.

Sandy said: “It is really important right now to support our local pubs and boozers, otherwise we are at a real risk of losing them.

"Pubs contribute so much to people, communities and society as a whole. Pubs raise over £100m for charity every year, and sport teams would not be able to continue without the support that the industry gives them.”