In the 1980’s, the UK market began to centre around a few, lower ABV lager brands as ale and stout consumption declined. In the 1990’s we saw draught lager continue to rise and continental 5% lagers gaining ground. By the 2000’s draught lager growth began to slow as more world beer brands entered the UK market.
And then, the craft brewery revolution, an explosion in British, American and Continental small-scale breweries introduce UK consumers to a wealth of beer styles, reigniting interest in ale and stout. With a thirst for new and interesting styles, the beer market has continued to thrive. Statistics tell us that world and speciality beer volumes are up 5.2% in the UK On-Trade.
Consumer habits are changing. The market is moving towards premium products, and as a result, consumers are more considered about their purchases. This, however, is not something to worry about, alongside ensuring you have a range of beers to suit individual needs, serving a perfect pint every time will mean money in the till.
One of the critical elements of a perfect pint is regular line cleaning. Cleaning lines is relatively straightforward and typically takes around 2 hours a week. Ignoring line cleaning will negatively affect the taste of your beers. After line cleaning always check that the beer coming through tastes as it should.
We know that serving good quality beer in a branded glass is proven to enhance the consumer drinking experience. As soon as the beer hits the glass, visual receptors tune in, and anticipation is tweaked. Hidden nuances become more pronounced, colours shimmer and the enjoyment of the beer becomes merely a better, more complete experience.
Branded glassware isn’t just a way of presenting good quality beer in the best way. Scientific studies show that the shape of glassware will impact head development and retention. The foam created by pouring a beer acts as a net for many of the volatiles in a beer. Volatiles are compounds that evaporate from beer to create its aromas, such as hop oils, all kinds of yeast fermentation by-products like alcohol, fusels and fruity esters, spices or other additions. A glass that promotes a healthy foam head may enhance the trapping of specific volatiles.
Presentation marries science - Customers believe that drink served in branded glassware is a sign of a quality beer, with the shape of the glassware enhancing the beer. There is a term often bandied around, beer-clean, refereeing to a glass that is not just clean, but clean enough for beer. This relates to a glass being free of any residual detergent, soap or grease as these residues degrade the beer foam. Maintaining the foam contains the aromas of the beer.
A perfectly poured beer not only provides an excellent customer experience but also saves money on wasted beer. The glass should be held at a 45-degree angle, not touching the faucet. Quickly open the tap and allow the glass to fill down the inside of the glass. Gradually tilt the glass back upright from the angle, so you finish pouring the beer directly into the centre of the glass. This allows the head to build. Ensure the faucet is always above the surface of the beer and not in the beer or foam.
Finally, make sure it's retailing at the right price. Ensure that your pricing model for beer offers value on every rung of the ladder. Your entry point should reflect the local area, the type of outlet and your customers. Above this, you should offer a mid-range of beers at a slightly higher price that can be easily traded up to from your entry-level offer. Finally, add a top rung tier for your world, discovery or speciality beers where the quality of the product is the most important thing for the consumer. Avoid duplication of beer styles on each rung of the ladder to promote trading up.
You can find more information about the beers we stock here. If you want to stock any of the beers mentioned, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your beer range is a success, from free menu design and print services to bar equipment.