EeBria Trade, a leading online craft beer distribution platform in the United Kingdom has released a report about what’s trending in the UK craft beer sector using data from the over 600 craft breweries they represent…
The breweries on its platform range from very small, one person operations to larger regional craft breweries and the trends they showcase, in the first of what will be two reports, range from the “more predictable” to the ‘less so.”
No and Low Alcohol Beer Sales Accelerate
No and low-alcohol beers In the UK have been building momentum for a while now. There are now epic breweries in England that craft nothing but alcohol-free beers and popular festivals that celebrate them.
Nearly 3% of beers purchased so far in 2019, have been 2.8% ABV or lower, and 1.2% of all craft beer being no more than 0.5% in strength.
Sales of beers with 0.5% ABVs or lower rose to more than £7.6 million last Christmas in the UK’s retail sector, increasing a mind-boggling 381% since 2017, according to EeBriaTrade. And the report expects that number to only grow in the coming year.
Cans Dominate Craft Beer in The UK
Just as in the states, consumer resistance to craft beer in cans has all but disappeared.
In 2017, a study of craft beer retail by analysts at Nielsen found that around 25% of all brews sold were packaged in a canned format. EeBria now reports that close to three quarters of all the beer sold on its website is served in cans.
Cans are “demonstrably more popular with consumers too,” according to the retailer, and breweries that made the switch from bottles to cans found “on average that their rate of sale almost tripled.”
While the public’s acceptance started with the more traditional 330ml cans, Eebria reports that the new larger 440ml can are now the most popular on its website, “going from effectively a standing start in early 2017 to over 40% of all bottles and cans being in this more shareable format.”
Traditional Beer Styles Decline
Just as in the US, IPAs and Pale Ales dominate UK craft beer sales and now make up 60% of the craft beer market as a whole. And with that has come a decline in traditional styles of beer.
Since 2016, the market share of “traditional” styles such as brown ales has fallen from 14% to just 5%, while now only 31% of craft breweries produce traditional beers, compared to 44% three years ago.
“When EeBria Trade began in 2015 it seemed like most breweries, when launching, felt a need to carry traditional styles in their core range…over time this attitude is shifting,” the report said.