Beer Day Britain 2017 has been heralded a resounding success, with more people than ever getting behind the celebrations this year.
The event, instigated by beer writer and sommelier Jane Peyton (pictured below) and developed into a four-day celebration this year in conjunction with There’s a Beer For That, saw a record number of brewery and pub events, broadcast, online and print media coverage and high levels of engagement on social media.
The importance of the celebrations was echoed by research commissioned for Beer Day Britain by There’s a Beer For That which proved that more than two-thirds of Brits consider beer to be Britain’s national alcoholic drink, with over a third claiming to drink beer at least weekly.
David Cunningham, programme director at There’s a Beer For That, said: “Our research highlighted some interesting facts about the British public’s knowledge of beer and identified some real areas of opportunity for retailers, pub, hotel and restaurant operators to grow their sales.
“Over 60% of people questioned said they had only tried up to five different styles of beer, with lager (45%) being the favourite, followed by pale ale (18%) and dark ales a distant third place at 6%.
“When there are over 140 different styles of beer to choose from, this shows that, collectively, we still have a long way to go in educating drinkers about the wide range of styles and flavours there are to explore.”
The survey also revealed that people are typically most likely to drink in a pub or bar (45%) with 30% preferring to enjoy a beer in the comfort of their own home. The most popular occasion on which they like to drink beer is socially, with friends and family.
David said: “Whilst people tend to stick with their favourite drink, there is a definite interest in finding out more about different styles of beer. Our research revealed that knowledge of the taste of the beer style was the most influential factor when purchasing a beer.
“So, we have an intriguing challenge where people want to expand their repertoire of beer styles, but need more information about their flavour and taste as well as having the opportunity to try before they buy.”
The research revealed that this is also the case for those who claimed they didn’t like beer but would be encouraged to try it again if they were able to sample it and receive more information and recommendations on what styles might suit their palate.
The other great opportunity for beer that the research revealed is meal occasions. “Beer`s versatility and diversity of flavours is best experienced when you match it with food,” said David. “Despite the popularity of beer, only 10% of drinkers in our survey drink it with their meal. The two main reasons for this were that people either didn’t think the flavours would complement their food, or they just didn’t know how to create a good beer and food match.
“However, over half of Britons say they’d like to try matching beer with food. There is a real opportunity here for us as an industry to grow the category by promoting beer and food pairing.”