The Independent Family Brewers of Britain, whose members currently operate around 4,200 pubs in the UK, has released the results of its annual members’ survey. The results reveal that while the market remains challenging, tourism represents a key area of growth and is enabling brewers to maintain their market share.
Tourism is a valuable source of sales and brand awareness for Family Brewers, with 56 per cent of members offering a visitors centre. The demand for this type of attraction is clearly growing, with 192,260 visitors throughout the last 12 months; over 64,170 more than in 2014 representing an increase of over 50 per cent.
Positively, and perhaps also impacted by the growing number of tourists visiting breweries, the survey identified that the appetite for quality British beer is still strong, with the Family Brewers offering customers 704 brands between them, across cask, keg, seasonal beer, bottled and canned formats. This is an increase of 94 from 2014, representing a growth of 15.4 per cent. The majority of brands are cask and bottled ales, with only 126 brands available as keg. Overall, the Family Brewers brew 685,000 barrels of beer per year, which equates to 30 per cent of the total cask market.
Designed to allow its 30 members to share best practice and identify areas for growth moving forward, the survey covers everything from distribution and exports to tourist figures, award wins and even whether or not the brewery has a horse and dray.
Alongside the interest in visiting a traditional British brewery, the desire to stay in a pub is also on the rise, and in an effort to meet this demand accommodation at managed houses is also up, with Family Brewers’ pubs offering a total of 129 additional rooms year on year.
Peter Wells, Chair of the Family Brewers’ Operations Committee, commented: “Our annual members’ survey truly provides an unrivalled insight into our historical and culturally rich brewing industry. The market still presents its challenges but the results of this research prove that our members are continuing to make their brands and pubs a success, particularly by making the most of the opportunities available to them through tourism.”