Cask Report - Good and Bad News

English ale: flat and warm.  This is the enduring American belief, but it is decades out of date.  Like nearly every other country, local ales have been swamped by industrial lagers and now hold onto a tiny percentage of overall sales.  But good news!  That percentage grew for the first time in twenty years:
Cask ale volumes grew in 2011 for the first time in 20 years, recording a 1.6% uplift, says The Cask Report 2012-13, published today...  Over the same period, cask also overtook keg as the most popular format for draught ale, increased its penetration of the pub market to 56%, achieved a 53% ‘ever tried’ rate among UK adults and increased the frequency with which it is drunk by existing cask customers.
Bad news!--even with the growth, only...
Around 2.2 million barrels of cask, equating to some 633 million pints, were sold last year.
I presume this is UK barrels, which would put it a shade over 3 million US barrels--or about a quarter of the US craft beer volume.  So the trend is good, but the absolute numbers are still depressing.  Pete Brown, who authored the annual report, has lots more here

Update. I probably should have added all the important caveats when comparing the US to Britain: the populations are unequal (62m versus 300m); not all British ale is consumed on cask. I made the comparison so an American audience would have a sense of scale. The point being, cask ale is very far from being the standard tipple in the country of its birth.