Is beer the new wine? New survey shows that Irish consumers love pairing food with beer

Friday, 26 October 2018

Lager is the nation’s beer variant according to a new online survey conducted by the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) with 45 per cent of respondents stating it as its favourite beer type. IPA’s are the nation’s second favourite beer variant with a 22 per cent share and stout received an 11 per cent share.

The survey was conducted on on behalf of the IBA, with over 1,300 respondents taking part. The survey aimed to explore the drinking preferences of beer consumers in Ireland, including where they drink and what they drink.

With around 100 microbreweries now operating around the country, there is more choice than ever and many consumers are now choosing beer in restaurants and bars to consume with food. According to the research, 51 per cent of beer drinkers either always or often pair beer with food when eating out.

While there is unprecedented variety of beers available to consumers, there is also demand for more beer options to be available in restaurants. Some 45 per cent of beer drinkers say there is not enough choice of beer on restaurant menus.

The survey found that 40 per cent of people say their favourite beer drinking experience is in a pub with friends. Almost 16 per cent prefer drinking at home with family and 15 per cent prefer a BBQ.

The research showed that many consumers change their beer of choice throughout the year. Some 45 per cent of beer drinkers either always or often change beer preferences, with 43 per cent changing due to seasonal factors.

There has also been a rise in the number of low and non-alcohol beer products on the market in the past few years, again giving consumers more choice. The demand is there for more options to be made available, with 57per cent of respondents saying they’d like to see more availability of non-alcoholic beer.

Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association commented:

“Beer remains Ireland’s favourite alcohol beverage, accounting for just under 45 per cent market share of all alcohol consumed in 2017.

“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.

“Like the French with wine and the Germans with beer, we should be proud of this homegrown sector and view beer as a cultural heritage. 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.”