A new survey from the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has revealed that Irish people are starting to choose beers in restaurants and bars to pair with their foods as lager was announced as the nation’s favourite variant.
The survey, which was conducted on TheTaste.ie on behalf of the IBA, aimed to explore the drinking preferences of beer consumers in Ireland, including where they drink and what they drink.
It found that lager is the favourite beer variant, with 45% of 1,300 respondents calling it their preferred choice. This was followed by IPA, 22%, and stout, 11%.
There has also been a notable rise in the number of low and non-alcohol beer products on the market in the past few years, giving consumers more choice.
However, there is still a demand for more options to be made available, with 57% of respondents saying they’d like to see more availability of non-alcoholic beer.
“Beer remains Ireland’s favourite alcohol beverage, accounting for just under 45% market share of all alcohol consumed in 2017,” Jonathan McDade, Head of the IBA, said.
“What’s really exciting to see is the increasing diversity in the sector. There is a huge amount of Irish-made beer products now available on the market and in our pubs and off-licences across the country.
“It’s also interesting to see how consumers are becoming more sophisticated in their beer choices and are often pairing their beer with food in restaurants.”
Over half (51%) of beer drinkers say that they either always or often pair their food with beer when eating out.
With 100 microbreweries now operating in the country, there is more choice than ever, which has led to an increased demand for more options to be made available in restaurants, with 45% of respondents saying there is not enough choice for beers in restaurants.
The survey found that 40% of people say their favourite beer drinking experience is in a pub with friends. Almost 16% prefer drinking at home with family and 15% prefer a BBQ.
It also found that many consumers change their beer of choice throughout the year, with 45% of beer drinkers either always or often changing beer preferences. 43% claimed to change their preference due to seasonal factors.
“Like the French with wine and the Germans with beer, we should be proud of this homegrown sector. I hope to continue to see plenty of new beer products come to the market in 2019 and continue to offer beer drinkers a wide range of choice,” McDade added.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.