Local beer sales on the up

05 February 2008 by
Local beer sales on the up

Beer from local breweries is bucking the trend of falling volumes with strong sales growth, according to a report by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

In 2007 locally brewed beers saw an average volume growth of 10.7% year-on-year, despite being sold in just four in 10 pubs.

This compared with a decline in overall beer sales during the same period of 6%.

SIBA figures show that locally brewed beers have outperformed total beer volumes since 2004, which marks the point total beer volumes in the on-trade entered decline.

The report claims that the introduction of cask ales can increase total beer sales by as much as 20% when compared with pubs that don't stock local beers.

SIBA also found that more than a quarter of pubs (29%) that do stock local brews price them at an average 6% to 7% premium over their usual cask ale.

"Limited availability has traditionally been the biggest threat to the continued progress of local beer," the report states.

"The high concentration of ownership of the UK on-trade has long meant that market access is our members' biggest issue. Progress is being made as seen but availability of local beer in the on-trade is restricted."

In recent months the decline in overall beer sales appears to have increased markedly with the British Beer & Pub Association reporting a 9.7% year-on-year decline in November on the back of a 7.7% fall in October 2007 and an 8.2% drop in September 2007.

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By Christopher Walton

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