Premium beer brands gain popularity on pub menus

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Premium pints: Brands like BrewDog and Heineken gain prevalence on pub menus (Getty/ izusek)
Premium pints: Brands like BrewDog and Heineken gain prevalence on pub menus (Getty/ izusek)

Related tags Beer Food

Premium beer brands are becoming more prominent on operator menus across UK pub and bars, according to data from Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker.

Presented at the MCA Pub Conference, the data showed BrewDog products account for 19% of all 330ml beer bottles or cans on the menus of the 20 largest pub and bar brands in the UK. This data, collected in May 2022, shows an increase of one percentage point (ppt) against February 2022. 

What’s more, Heineken accounted for 7% - an increase of 5ppts – and Amstel accounted for 3%, a rise of  1ppt. 

All three of these brands are more expensive than the average price of beer on menus. BrewDog is up 12.5% more, Heineken up 2.6% and Amstel a rise of 5.0%. 

Lumina Intelligence senior insight manager Katie Prowse said: “Like all hospitality channels, pubs and bars are facing into rising costs and greater scrutiny from consumers. Operators are using tactics to mitigate these challenges and encourage consumers to trade up to more premium products. 

Driving spend

“Increasing availability of more premium beers and spirits is one way to drive spend, as well as through customisable dishes that encourage consumers to trade-up.” 

Operators are also turning to spirits to drive higher spend. In April 2022, gin was the most prominent spirit to feature on pub menus – accounting for 37% of all spirits on menus. Whiskey was the next highest and has grown its share since February – accounting for 17% of all spirits on a pub/bar menu. 

Furthermore, operators are expanding their ranges of these more premium drinks, with the average price of whiskey on drinks menus +1% more expensive than total spirits. 

New customisable dishes are also being used to increase price points on menus while managing staff shortages and boosting consumer satisfaction. 

Useful tool

“Customisation is an important tool for operators as it allows for consumer choice and taps into trends for experience and personalisation,” according to Prowse. 

She added: “Operators can achieve this through allowing consumers to choose sides to go with dishes or more premium sauces/toppings, which can help ease kitchen pressures through having a more streamlined menu, as well boost spend through more premium options.” 

Between February and May 2022, 56% of new main dishes on pub menus were tagged as customisable, and those dishes were 5% more expensive than the average main course. The price differences were even more prominent across other courses: 

Across all courses, 39% of all new dishes added to pub and bar menus between February and May 2022 have been customisable, and command a 25% higher price point than the average dish. 

Related topics Beer

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