Around 30 per cent of real ale drinkers report making five or more mates from their pub visits, compared to just 16 per cent of all pub-goers.
Meanwhile, more than half of those who opt for real ale say they have made one new friend as a direct result of visiting the pub, the report for the Campaign for Real Ale society (Camra) claimed.
Nigel Findlay, manager of Staggs Bar in Musselburgh, which was last year named Camra’s Scottish pub of the year, said: “I think there is an element of truth in that. Our bar sells about 90 per cent real ale and I know people come here and they talk to each other quite a lot – especially on Saturday nights, when the decibel level raises the roof. We generally have a very friendly atmosphere.”
He added: “Like everything, it may be that people who drink the same thing might be more likely to get along because they have something in common.”
The survey of 2,055 adults found that just 44 per cent of real ale drinkers had not made ongoing social connections while in the pub.
Nik Antona, national chairman for Camra, which represents over 190,000 members across the UK, said: “Pubs play a significant role in communities across the country, providing a space for local people to meet, helping to tackle loneliness, and having a positive impact on the personal wellbeing of pub-goers. It’s vital that the government continues to act to reduce pub closures so that pubs remain at the heart of communities.
“In addition, it is imperative that beer-drinkers continue to support the pubs trade by visiting them.” He added: “Our Summer of Pub campaign aims to show what pubs have to offer and remind people how important the great British pub is to communities. From special screenings of the Women’s World Cup to comedy evenings, beer tastings or special talks, pubs have pulled out all the stops to celebrate this summer and provide something for everyone.”
Research conducted in 2016 with Oxford University that showed that people who have a local pub are happier, more trusting and better-connected to their local community.
Separately, Camra yesterday announced that it had banned beers with discriminatory names or artwork at its flagship event, the Great British Beer Festival, in London.