Craft beer is an on-trade must

Demand is expected to continue, driven by younger drinkers

Beer and food matching is becoming more popular with consumers, said the report

CRAFT beer is likely to become an “essential” for bars and pubs in the years ahead as younger consumers continue to drive demand, according to the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

A new report from the organisation, which represents more than 750 independent brewers across the UK, stated that craft beer volumes have grown consistently in the past few years, with nearly a quarter of consumers said to be more likely to visit a pub or restaurant if the venue has a good range of craft beers.

Nearly half (45%) of consumers were said to be willing to pay more for craft beer because of the perceived higher quality of the products.

And interest in craft beers was said to be particularly high in the ‘Millennial’ (23 to 38) and ‘Generation Z’ (currently under 24) age groups, with these demographics drinking lower volumes than they have in the past, but willing to pay more for “genuine products with heritage, a hand-crafted nature and trusted values”.

Younger consumers were also said to be drinking more beer in restaurants than previous generations and pairing beer with food was described as “increasingly popular” among young people.

Caroline Nodder, editor of the report, said there is “a need for creating an experience around beer – whether that is tasting flights of beers or pairing beer with food, or running interesting one-off events or games tournaments”.

“We’re seeing brewers be more adventurous in what they offer young beer drinkers – in response to the trend for drinking less, but better,” said Nodder.