It is tough for craft brewers to make a dent in the market place as they have to tackle the low price point retailers are used to for kegged and cask products, said Hannah Rhodes, founder of London-based Hiver Beers.
Rhodes was responding to Brewers’ Association president and chief executive Bob Pease’s call for UK craft brewers to work harder to make craft beer more accessible to pub customers.
Pease, who is the headline speaker at the Future Trends: Beer & Cider event in June, said brewers in the UK would have to push harder into pubs if they were to be as successful as their US counterparts.
‘Pints and halves of beer’
However, Rhodes said: “The UK beer drinking market is still predominantly made up of pints and halves.
“So for craft brewers to really make a dent in the marketplace, they have to tackle the low price point retailers are used to for kegged and, even more so, cask products.”
Rhodes’ business recently missed out on a cask ale tender because the target price point from the customer was equivalent to Hiver’s cost of production “and this is a common story for craft brewers in the UK”, she added.
Although it was often tough to match operators’ price expectations, it was just as difficult to get kegged product into some sites, Rhodes claimed.
“Fighting for kegged lines is a different ball game in most instances; the lines are tied and unless you’re available through a national network and retailer, your opportunities are limited.”
Hiver was able to scale up its production as it had the capacity, she said. However, smaller brewers could not since increasing production would often incur additional costs – making it almost impossible to offer a product at a low price.
‘Brewers to make a dent’
“In the UK we’re still in a position where most of the draught lines are contracted and the opportunity for craft brewers to make a dent in the marketplace is still limited,” said Rhodes.
Meanwhile, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s first Future Trends: Beer & Cider event, is set to take place in London on 22 June.
For more information and to see a full agenda visit www.FutureTrendsBeerandCider.co.uk.
Or to book your place now contact Joanne Horton by email at email@example.com or by phone on 01293 610 403.