Craft Beer retailer EeBria Trade conducted an industry wide analysis on the craft beer market, taking in over 4,000 products. The data has led us to make three fairly bold predictions on what it means for beer over the next 12 months.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pale Ales and IPAs remain as the mainstay of beer sales, with the products being accountable for 60% of sales over the past 12 months.
Let's take a look at the predictions for 2018:
1 - High Strength Beer and Double IPA's on the UP!
Despite the government attempting to crack down on high alcohol content, the demand for strong beers and Double IPAs is booming. The data states that about 11% of craft beer sales over the past 12 months contained an ABV of 7% or higher. This has increased from a little over 5.3% in 2016.
If you take the surge in Double IPAs as well, rising to 7.3% from 4.3%, brewers looking to appeal to the on-trade market must consider adding higher content brews to their portfolio. Over the summer, you may have even seen the controversy surrounding a London Pub selling a pint of 8.2% ABV at over £13. More on that here.
In any case it would be a bold person to predict that high strength beers won't continue to flourish in 2018.
2 - Sour Beers to Surge
Last summer we took an 'educational trip' to the fine brewers in the South East of London on the route coined the 'Bermondsey Beer Mile.' We were surprised to find a vast selection of sour tasting beers available by the glass being tested on the market. While they were not to our taste the analysts saw that sales of sour beer rose by over 6% over the past 12 months.
What this indicates is the continued innovation of craft beer drinkers and their happiness to test new styles and different tastes. We won't be contributing to a potential rise in 2018, but it must be on the agenda for brewers.
3 - Back to Traditional Brewing?
We don't think so.
Many pundits have predicted brewers returning to traditional brewing styles in 2018. However, the data uncovered in this report doesn't share the same opinion. Ales (including Golden, Brown and Red) rose by 7.2% over the past 12 months. But, if you compare this to the previous 12 months which saw a 14% rise, you'll see a drop in the sales share.
It will make interesting viewing throughout 2018 to see how craft brewers respond.
The beauty of the drinks market is opinions. Everyone involved in the industry loves the products and seem to have a real passion for it. So, we want your opinions on the next 12 months in craft beer. Please comment in the comments section below or join the conversation here.
Are you an On-Trade Salesperson?
We also have a number of Craft Beer Sales Executive Roles available.
Keep in touch with us by signing up for our FMCG newsletter. We provide a monthly snapshot of interesting news, views and data in the FMCG Industry (with a splattering of jobs and advice on the side.) Sign up here.