The Drinks List

Camden Hells pips Punk IPA as craft best seller amid £100m category hit

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Craft beer, Beer, Brewery, Drinks List, Drink

The overall value of the ten best-selling craft beers in the UK on-trade plummeted by £105.8m in the past 12 months – with 130,742 hectolitres, or around 23m pints, fewer poured.

What’s more, while BrewDog’s Punk IPA has been top dog in on-trade sales of craft beer since the inception of the Drinks List, an £11.1m, 13,060HL, swing in the latest list places Camden Hells Lager atop the 2021 edition.

  • Check out The Drinks List – Top Brands to Stock in 2021 in full here​. 

In the last 12 months, Camden Hells – which became the official beer of Arsenal Football Club​ in July 2019 – sold 642HL more than BrewDog’s leading pour according to CGA data, pipping Punk IPA value by £3.9m having trailed by £7.2m in 2019. 

Punk

Hells was once again joined in the top ten by Camden Pale Ale, which clung onto its place in the top three despite its on-trade value slipping by £9.4m during a turbulent 12 months.    

The two brews maintained berths in the top three following significant investment in from Camden Town Brewery owners Budweiser Brewing Group. 

The latest list also sees two new brews break into the top ten with Goose Island Midway IPA and Maltsmiths American Style IPA landing in eighth and ninth respectively, while Greene King's East Coast IPA is the biggest loser dropping three positions. 

Additionally, CGA’s data reveals a second year of impressive performance on the spin for Beavertown’s Neck Oil, with this year's highest climber rising four places by dint of the segment's lowest drop in volume sales at -9% over the past 12 months off the back of a 152% increase value in 2019.  

Like Hells, it’s possible that Neck Oil has benefitted from a Premier League partnership, after Beavertown opened a micro-brewery in Tottenham Hotspur’s 62,000-seater stadium​ after selling a minority stake to Heineken in 2018. Neck Oil is now poured at what Tottenham claims is the longest bar in Europe at 65m in length, though fans haven't been able to visit since March.

2020 rank

Brand

Volume (HL)

Value (£m)

2019 rank

Up or Down

1.

Camden Hells Lager

42,426

40.0

2

+1

2.

BrewDog Punk IPA

41,784

36.1

1

-1

3.

Camden Pale Ale

30,273

28.3

3

Level

4.

Marston's Shipyard

24,229

16.1

4

Level

5.

Beavertown Neck Oil

22,065

21.8

9

+4

6.

Blue Moon

20,173

17.7

5

-1

7.

Brooklyn Lager

17,240

16.8

6

-1

8.

Goose Island Midway IPA

13,066

11.4

New Entry

New Entry

9.

Maltsmiths American Style IPA

12,785

10.8

New Entry

New Entry

10

Greene King East Coast IPA

12,439

8.1

7

-3

Neck

A year in craft  

In addition to a reshuffle of its top ten selling pub pours, the UK’s craft beer sector has seen brands transform under the strain of the Covid-19 pandemic.      

Scottish brewer and operator BrewDog, for example, recently hit an initial crowdfunding target​ of £7.5m for its Equity for Punks Tomorrow scheme, which launched in September after the creator of Punk IPA shifted focus to becoming a carbon negative beer maker.  

Speaking to The MA,​ founder James Watt also revealed that BrewDog – which posted £8.1m losses​ due to the pandemic - saw 70% of its revenue disappear overnight​, causing co-founder James Watt serious concerns over whether the business would be able to trade once restrictions were lifted. 

Additionally, Beavertown unveiled ‘London’s largest brewery’ – Beaverworld​ – allowing 90,000,000 pints to be produced a year, 10 times more than at its previous home, in late August. 

Like Watt, Beavertown founder Logan Plant told The MA​ that his Heineken-backed north London brewery lost almost 90% of its business​ during lockdown as a result of enforced pub and bar closures.

However, a 1,400% increase in online sales​ at craft brewer Jubel put the independent beer maker in a strong position to support its on-trade partners once pubs reopen, according to co-founder Jesse Wilson.  

What’s more, the past 12 months also saw the average cost of a pint in the UK rise by 24p to £3.94 – an increase of 6%, or four times the rate of inflation,​ according to shopping comparison website Finder.com.

  • All data provided by CGA for the 12 months to 3 October 2020

Related topics: Beer

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