German beer has more credibility than domestically made ‘world’ beers

GERMAN beer is making gains in the UK on-trade – and Krombacher has been leading that charge, with a rash of draught installs and serious keg volume growth across 2023.

According to John Critchley, commercial director of Krombacher’s UK importer, Morgenrot, the ‘quality, history, production methods and authenticity’ of German beer brands is giving it increased credibility on a market populated with domestically made ‘world’ beers.

“While there is always a multi-national brewer ready to write a cheque to get an inauthentic international lager on the bar, I honestly think German beer has the high ground when it comes to quality and provenance,” said Critchley.

“These factors are starting to resonate with consumers and helping us to challenge the status quo.”

Krombacher notched up 90 new permanent draught installs in 2023, while its Hell Lager, Unfiltered, Dark Lager and Weizen kegs saw combined volume growth of 37% against 2022.

The family-run brewery, whose beers have been imported into the UK since the mid-80s, said it would continue to prioritise the on-trade as consumers ‘understand, search out and enjoy historic German beers like Krombacher, that put taste, authenticity and provenance first’.

Director for sales & marketing in the UK & Ireland, Stephan Kofler, said: “In a competitive UK market and in challenging times, it’s been another hugely positive year for Krombacher.

“With many of the so-called ‘international’ lagers being brewed in the UK and spending no real time being lagered to develop flavour, I think there has been a growing consensus among the quality drinkers towards German beers and the different historic beer styles the country offers. This can be seen in the increased interest for our Hells, Unfiltered and Dark lagers.”

When it comes to market share in Germany, Krombacher Pils has retained its top spot, increasing to a record level of over 11% in 2023. The brewery’s Pils continues to be its biggest volume line in the UK.

The brand’s low/no portfolio including 0.0% Pils and unique non-alcoholic Weizen have also continue to take market share in the UK, with sales growing by 11% in 2023 against 2022.