Top Brands 2023 – Scots are still thirsty for a pub pint

  1. Tennent’s Lager

  2. Guinness

  3. Birra Moretti

  4. Peroni Nastro Azzurro

  5. Stella Artois

  6. Belhaven Best

  7. Carling

  8. Innis & Gunn Lager

  9. Corona Extra

  10. Coors

(Figures provided by CGA for SLTN’s annual Top Brands feature)


With a combined value of more than £880 million, beer – encompassing lager, ale and stout – is the single biggest drinks category in Scotland’s bars and pubs. 

Despite the well-publicised cost of living causing problems for people across the UK, brand owners told SLTN this year that there was no sign of pub and bar customers trading down in order to save money. 

“The beer category is healthy and growing, particularly the premium segment, suggesting consumers are still seeking out trusted brands during on-trade visits,” Crawford Sinclair of Innis & Gunn told the publication in the summer. 

While people are still seemingly happy to spend on beer, however, the occasions they are drinking it are said to be changing. 

Steven Sturgeon of Belhaven said the company is seeing ‘an increase in consumers going out for food and drink combined’.

“It is likely the trend with occasions, such as food and drink, will continue and as a brewer it is key we provide guidance to our customers on what flavours complement our beers, providing a fuller experience,” he said. 

It’s also clear from looking at the Top Brands list that world beers continue to be a popular choice for many Scottish bar and pub goers. 

Italian names Birra Moretti and Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Belgium’s Stella Artois and Mexican brand Corona all earn places in the top ten beers, with even more – such as Madrí Excepcional, Menabrea, Heverlee, Heineken and Amstel – appearing further down the list. 

Even if it’s safe to say that many of those brands are brewed in the UK, rather than imported from their native countries, they all seem to be tapping into a demand for overseas flavours. 

Such is the market for world beers, that Heineken brought its Spanish lager brand, Cruzcampo, to the UK this year, with big hopes of tapping into the demand for Spanish beers. 

The popularity of craft beers also continues. Not only has Innis & Gunn Lager leapt up the overall rankings this year, but Heineken-owned Beavertown has made a splash, with its Neck Oil IPA becoming Scotland’s third-favourite ale.