Eighteen pubs are closing in Britain every week as the rising cost of beer drives landlords out of business, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has warned.
The rate of closures has risen by six a week since the spring, the campaign group said, as it called for "urgent" action by the Government to halt the decline.
The real ale group said that 450 pubs have closed between March and September, equivalent to 18 each week. This compares to a closure rate of 12 a week over the previous six month period.
CAMRA described the escalation in pub closures as "very concerning".