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SIBA British Craft Beer Report 2020

Highlights from new report show increase in women drinking beer more often, growth in ‘no and low alcohol’ beers, and increase in independent brewery taprooms across UK

  • Growing number of consumers believe genuine craft beer must be produced by a small independent brewery – 50% in 2020 up from 43% in 2019. In contrast only 3% of our consumers believe craft beer can be made by a multinational global 
  • Despite the above, a worrying 27% of consumers can’t tell if a beer is made by an independent brewer or not
  • Number of women drinking beer more than once a week rises to 11%, almost doubling the figure of 6% from 2019 survey.
  • Volume growth in the craft beer category is slowing (just 0.2% in 2019), although value is increasing as it is seen by consumers as a premium product 
  • Small brewers are increasingly under pressure from ‘crafty’ beers made by the national and international brewers – brewery buyouts have increased. 
  • 23% of 18-24-year-olds are now teetoal, an increase of 6% in the last 12 months. Which ties in with No and Low alcohol beers now being the top drink trend for 2020.
  • 94% of ale drinkers say the most important factor in choosing a pub is beer quality

A new report launching today unveils a raft of data about the craft brewing sector and how it is adapting for a new type of market and beer drinker – including research which shows the growth of no and low alcohol beers, being brewed in response to an increasing number of people, particularly those aged 18-24, who are reducing alcohol intake or avoiding it altogether.

Other headline findings from the SIBA British Craft Beer Report 2020 are a growing number of consumers, 50% in 2020 up from 43% in 2019, the growth of brewery taprooms (30% of independent breweries now have a Taproom serving beer on-site), and the fact that women are now drinking beer more regularly (almost doubling to 11% since 2019).

Another highlight is research which shows a growing number of consumers, 50% in 2020 up from 43% in 2019, recognise that genuine craft beer must be produced by a small independent brewery. In contrast only 3% of our consumers believe craft beer can be made by a multinational global brewer. This is something small brewers need to communicate better to consumers. 

Editor of the SIBA British Craft Beer Report Caroline Nodder: “The findings in this year’s report show a drastically changing marketplace – with consumers opting for no or low alcohol options, particularly young people, and brewers who are quickly adapting to this challenge and bringing out some really interesting, flavoursome low abv beers. It shows the dexterity of small independent breweries and I think we are going to see even more growth in this area over the next twelve months as people become more health-conscious.”

“Community is also increasingly important for consumers and this has really helped with the growth in local brewery taprooms. Beer drinkers can try fresh beers direct from the source and often try something not available elsewhere – for brewers it has created a vital revenue stream in a market that is extremely tough and competitive. It’s one of the big success stories of the last few years and almost a third of independent breweries now have a taproom on site – an incredible number across the UK.” Nodder added.

SIBA’s British Craft Beer Report is now in its second year, a year in which SIBA itself is celebrating 40 years since its foundation back in 1980. The British Craft Beer Report is the most comprehensive annual report covering the beer industry, combining insight and analysis from the wider beer market with the results of SIBA’s annual members’ survey and exclusive consumer research commissioned by SIBA through YouGov. 

The report was launched today at BeerX UK, the biggest beer and brewing trade event in the UK, which attracts around 2,000 attendees over two days and involves beer and business awards as well as a trade show and conference.

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