Craft beer

Craft beer must gain better access to pubs to see US-style success

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Pease: Boost presence in the UK on-trade
Pease: Boost presence in the UK on-trade

Related tags Craft beer Beer

Craft brewers must work harder to make craft beer more accessible to pub customers if the segment is to experience success akin to that of the States’, US Brewers’ Association president and chief executive Bob Pease has urged.

Pease, who will speak about the global craft beer and cider movement at the Future Trends: Beer and Cider event​ on 22 June, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser (PMA)​ craft beer wasn’t as abundantly available in UK pubs as it was in the US.

“Craft breweries in the UK are certainly making good inroads in the pub sector where more independent establishments can be found – even chain pubs – carrying a few craft beer handles and some packaged product,” he said. “But, accessibility can still be improved.”

There is an estimated 1,500 craft breweries in the UK, according to Dr Charles Bamford, an eminent food and drink professor. However, these weren’t represented in the on-trade as well as they could be, claimed Pease.

Around 75% of legal drinking-age consumers in the US were, on average, no fewer than 10 miles away from a brewery, added Pease.

Most divers craft beer


“Perhaps the canned craft beer trend will take a firmer hold and wider acceptance among UK breweries and retailers”

The US had the most diverse beer market in the world and there were more breweries now than ever.

“In addition, craft beer is reclaiming its place at the dinner table [in the US]. Chefs who grew up with craft beer are now cooking with it and pairing their food creations with craft beer,” said Pease.

Although the UK’s scene had more work to do in terms of boosting its presence in the on-trade, Pease didn’t believe it was lacking innovation.

“I don’t think the UK industry is behind at all. We have participated in events in the UK for many years and there are outstanding craft breweries and cideries making excellent products that stand up to the best produced elsewhere.

“Perhaps the big difference is simply the sheer number of craft breweries now in the US and the size of some of them. But we have a larger market that allows for that.”

Craft beer unlocks benefits

Craft breweries in the UK, US and across the world were doing a good job in unlocking the benefits of brewing, he added.

As for the future trends that breweries and the on-trade should be looking towards, Pease suggested there were several.

Bold use of hops and a focus on a wider variety of hops for bittering and aroma profiles was one, he said.

Barrel-ageing and sour beers were also rising themes within the sector and he urged breweries to take bigger chances on producing more styles of beers, flavours and packaging.

Finally, he said: “Perhaps the canned craft beer trend will take a firmer hold and wider acceptance among UK breweries and retailers.”

Meanwhile, for more information on the PMA’s ​Future Trends: Beer and Cider event visit​ where you can see a full agenda.

To book your place at the event now, contact Joanne Horton by email at wbnaar.ubegba@jeoz.pbz​ or by phone on 01293 610 403.

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