More than 200,000 pints are expected to be drunk by the 50,000+ attendees at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) this week, at Olympia London.

The event, which is run by over a thousand volunteers from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) opened yesterday and will run until 15 August.

“With more than 1,200 breweries in the UK, and more beer styles being brewed than ever before, Britain has seriously got the beer bug,” said Tim Page, CAMRA chief executive.

“People are becoming more open to trying new beers and moving away from the mentality of drinking pint-after-pint of the same brew. Particularly for stronger, more full flavoured real-ales such as barley wines, or strong porters and stouts, a half or third of a pint is a much more sensible option and allows people to try a range of beers without drinking past their limits.”

Over 900 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers are on offer at GBBF, from more than 350 British breweries across 27 different bars, alongside entertainment, food, seating areas, and traditional pub games.

Leading up to the event, CAMRA commissioned a survey of 2,000 people (undertaken by independent research company YouGov). The research found that 34 per cent of drinkers opt for a half pint glass when trying a new beer, whereas a joint 26 per cent opt for a pint glass or third of a pint glass.

CAMRA said this shows people are opting to drink less, but be more adventurous in their choices. They also said that the surprising result was that the third of a pint was equally as popular as the pint glass.

The research also showed that people believed the best place to try a new beer for the first time was at a beer festival (41 per cent).