A campaign is being launched calling on drinkers to support local independent brewers when pubs reopen next week.
Around five million pints of cask beer are estimated to have been poured away because of the coronavirus crisis, with the brewers who made it left to foot the bill.
Sales of hand-pulled cask beer, which can only be sold in pubs, have been hit hard by Covid restrictions, with sales down 70% over the last year.
The Cask Is Back, So Back Cask campaign is backed by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), the British Institute of Innkeeping, and Cask Marque.
James Calder, chief executive of SIBA, said: “Because cask beer can only be enjoyed in the pub it’s the drink millions of beer lovers across the UK have missed most during lockdown.
“Whether you’re a real ale enthusiast or sometimes beer drinker, we’re asking everyone to support their local independent breweries and opt for their first pint back in the pub to be some delicious local cask beer.”
Tom Stainer, chief executive of Camra, said: “What makes the Great British pub so unique is delicious, fresh cask beer. It’s a drink you can only enjoy in the pub and which millions of people across the UK have not been able to enjoy for much of the last 12 months.”
Breweries have been ramping production back up ahead of pubs reopening.