It seems the days of simply asking for a bitter or a lager at the bar are long gone. The phenomenal rise in craft beer in the UK over the last two to three years has put our understanding and interest in beer on to a completely new level.
A new study by the Society of Independent Brewers has found 90% of beer drinkers are now interested to know what is in the beer they are drinking and are actively looking to find out more about what they are drinking.
We are also far less interested in just trying the latest “premium imported” ale or lager with British drinkers keen to support local brews and breweries.
The SIBA study of 900 drinkers found that 53% of those surveyed believed it was important beer was brewed in the UK, with a particular affinity (46%) for craft beers as they are not made “large corporations”.
Women are also now happier to drink beer than before a quarter more reporting they regularly turn to a pint on a night out. This is, in part, down to the improved flavour attributes to many of the new beers on the market.
Mike Benner, SIBA managing director, said: “Just as wine drinkers understand the importance of different grape varieties, today’s beer drinkers are increasingly curious about different styles and what gives each beer its unique flavours.”
The sheer diversity of beers means it is now far easier to find a beer that is suitable to your tastes. Even if there is a good chance it may only be short lived on the bar before it is replaced by the latest craft beer in town.
But this is an important factor in the demand and interest in craft beer as it allows us all to “personalise” our beer choices more. A key determining factor in how consumers decide where and how to spend their money.
Benner agreed: “For the vast majority of men and women who say they don’t like beer, what they really mean is ‘I haven’t found a beer I like’ – which was understandable when the choices were so limited. But the fact is we now have more different styles of beer being brewed in the UK than ever before.”