From What's Brewing, the newspaper of the Campaign for Real Ale, October 2008 issue:
Pub closures across Britain have accelerated to five a day during the first half of this year, according to new figures.
Pubs are now closing at the rate of 36 a week. <..> The current closure rate is 33 per cent up on 2007. <..> A total of 1,409 pubs closed for the last time during 2007.
From the same issue:
While we should be pleased that real ale is declining slower than the rest of the beer sector as a whole, it is still in decline — which is something which should still concern us.
Across the pond, here in the US, we have an abundance of beers available to us: American and international. Enjoy this bounty of good beer.
But ultimately: support your local brewery. Local beer —all things being done well— will be the freshest beer one can obtain. Drink local, drink fresh.
And, if the beer isn't as good as it should be, stop in the brewery and tell them so.
That's something you can't do with the corporate behemoths.