With their unique blends of hops and malt, Britain’s ales are as distinct as the traditional breweries that craft them and the local pubs that serve them up. But these vaunted ales — ‘the ultimate example of local produce,’ the Ecologist (Nov. 2006) calls them — face extinction as consolidated pub companies and big breweries convert local pubs into more profitable developments like high-end housing and hip bars. This shift has closed the tab on several historic watering holes and left more than half of England’s villages publess. When residents of Hesket Newmarket saw their home approaching the same fate, they bought the town tavern and founded Britain’s first cooperative pub. Now they offer local brews and advice to pub lovers who are hatching similar plans.