The Drinks List

Lagers dominate the top 100 brands list

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Peroni nastro azzurro Morning advertiser Beer Pale lager The morning advertiser

Top brand: the iconic Stella Artois chalice helped the lager reach top spot in its category
Top brand: the iconic Stella Artois chalice helped the lager reach top spot in its category
A total of 10 lagers have been highlighted as the top performers in The Morning Advertiser's list of the hottest drinks brands for the pub trade.

In the 2018 list, published in November 2017, the top 10 lager brands were named as:

  1. Carling
  2. Foster's
  3. Carlsberg
  4. Peroni Nastro Azzurro
  5. Stella Artois
  6. Coors Light
  7. Tennent's
  8. San Miguel
  9. Kronenbourg
  10. Amstel

Despite the struggles faced by the mainstream lager segment, the category still makes up the bulk of drinks sales in pub.

To find out which brands are hot to stock​ in, visit The Drinks List: Top Brands To Stock 2018.

Lagers in the 2017 list:

The 16 lagers - Stella Artois, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, San Miguel, Budweiser, Carlsberg Lager, Heineken Premium, Corona, Kronenbourg 1664, Foster's, Carling, Estrella Damm, Coors Light, Birra Moretti, Budweiser 4.3, Amstel and Budweiser Budvar Original made it into The Drinks List: Top 100 Brands​.

This is the first top 100 brands list, compiled by The Morning Advertiser​ in association with research firm CGA Strategy. The list looked at both alcoholic and soft drinks, ranking the brands on the basis of consumer preference and sales metrics. 

At the top of the lager rankings was Stella Artois, with the brand's focus on premium events – such as Wimbledon and Royal Ascot – combining with the brand's iconic chalice to establish the drink as the market leader for premium lager.

This was followed by Peroni Nastro Azzurro. The Asahi-owned brand is pushing its credentials as a super-premium Italian imported beer, with the company believing that if the brand reaches certain metrics, such as quality, taste and experience, consumers will be willing to pay significantly more to purchase it. 

San Miguel is another drink brand that is thriving with reported year-on-year growth of 9% in volume and 10% in value.

The list saw two Budweiser drinks: Budweiser and Budweiser 4.3 making an appearance. The most successful of these was Budweiser, with London free-trade volume sales up 14.6% and 18 to 34-year-old consumers most likely to buy into the brand. 

The full list of lagers includes:

  1. Stella Artois
  2. Peroni Nastro Azzurro
  3. San Miguel
  4. Budweiser
  5. Carlsberg Lager
  6. Heineken Premium
  7. Corona
  8. Kronenbourg 1664
  9. Foster's
  10. Carling
  11. Estrella Damm
  12. Coors Light
  13. Birra Moretti
  14. Budweiser 4.3
  15. Amstel
  16. Budweiser Budvar Original


  • In The Drinks List: Top 100 Brands ​published in the 28 November issue The Morning Advertiser ​stated Carling (lager number 10) had been the UK's number one 4% ABV lager for three years. This was incorrect, Carling has been the UK's number one 4% ABV lager for three decades.
  • In the same list, The Morning Advertiser ​stated Coors Light (lager number 12) was a low-calorie beer, however, Molson Coors is not a low-calorie beer and has never been marketed as such.

The list was compiled by CGA Strategy based on consumer preference, equity scores and sales metrics and includes brands from the spirits, wine, softs and LAD categories. Consumer opinion forms the basis of the methodology, highlighting the brands that consumers want to see when they visit the on-trade. As such a 66:33 weighted split was used to determine the list, balancing consumer preferences with actual on-trade sales performance to give the most accurate and comprehensive list of the 100 ultimate drinks brands in the GB on-trade. By measuring brands against a number of equity features, we have also uncovered consumers’ perception of brands and the reasons why they make up the nation’s favourite drinks – are they cool, fun, value for money? etc. All sales data used in the report is from the brands and their owners.

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