The number of breweries in the UK has topped 1,000 - the highest figure for more than 70 years, according to new research.
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said a record 158 new breweries had opened in the past year, the highest number ever recorded in the group's annual beer guide.
Camra said it was an "astonishing" number, with twice as many breweries now in operation than a decade ago and around one brewery for every 50 pubs.
Many micro-breweries have opened in recent years, but smaller ones have expanded despite a steady flow of pub closures.
Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide, said: "A double dip recession has done nothing to halt the incredible surge in the number of brewers coming on stream, making the small brewing sector surely one of the most remarkable UK industry success stories of the last decade.
"In fact, the boom in new breweries has, in many cases, made the term 'micro' obsolete, with some small brewers having become remarkably large, installing new equipment or doubling production to keep up with demand.
"Beer drinkers in the present day are faced with an enormous variety and choice like never seen before on these shores.
"Whilst historically there were more breweries in the UK pre-1930s, the distribution and communication networks of the modern day mean that real ale has never been so accessible to consumers, or to pubs wanting to meet demand for serving locally produced beer."
Pro-active publicans are increasingly seeing the value in offering service to customers that goes beyond the bar stool.
Although a number have improved food options at their pubs, some publicans selling real ale have even taken to hosting beer knowledge courses.
"My local publican at the Hand in Hand in Wimbledon regularly gives talks about the brewing, storing and serving of beer," Justin Popham, 54, told Sky News.
"I believe this is a real passion rather than a marketing ploy and in the land of interminable chain pubs serving mass produced 'beer'.
"It is a refreshing change and I think common among the small brewers that are springing up everywhere."