Pubs in decline, beer yesterday's drink and the whole country off to hell in a themed handcart serving only WKD? Only up to a point. The new issue of CAMRA's redoubtable Good Beer Guide, published yesterday, brings the excellent news that there are now more breweries in Britain than at any time since the Second World War, with no fewer than 71 opening in the last year alone.
Yes, pubs are closing at a formidable rate and beer sales in general are down but, it seems, real-ale sales are going the other way, and some pubs facing oblivion are finding that they can pull themselves back to health with the radical innovation of offering good beer.
Could it be that the crisis in publand is less a catastrophe and more a beneficial shake-out? Too early to tell, no doubt, but either way, if real ale is selling and small breweries are spreading like rabbits across the country, something's going right with the world.
More of those cheerful details here.