There was once a time when bottled beers were the only way of getting a decent brew.
These days, perhaps it’s the times that are in it but while on-trade bottled beer sales have again been ‘down’ with both volume and value declining MAT to the end November 2014, they’re by no means ‘out’.
AC Nielsen puts the bottled beer market as being worth over €200 million in the on-trade and over €168 million in the off-trade. However when the discounters are included, this value rises to over €203 million.
While these figures represent a 5.3% volume decline in the on-trade and a 5.9% decline in the off-trade, off-trade values showed an increase of 2.2% MAT to the end of November according to Nielsen.
If the discounters are included this volume increase rises to 6.4%.
According to AC Nielsen’s Rowena Armstrong, “In the off-trade bottles are seeing value growth, but this is ahead of the volume performance. There are a number of factors driving this off-trade trend including changes in promotions and pack mix and also a reflection of a shift to more expensive ‘craft’ bottle offerings”.
In the absence of AC Nielsen however, getting a figure for bottled beer sales here can prove problematic. The Irish Brewing Association does not have that kind of data to hand because not all of its members bottle beer here and so sales data is hard to source.
However according to a recent report in Inside Drinks entitled ‘The Price of Beer Around The World’ Ireland drinks 277 bottles of beer per person per year, equivalent to Poland but below the Czech Republic (419), Australia (304), Germany (299) and Estonia (288).
But Ireland sure can spend on its bottled beer – €602.76 per person, it seems.
According to Inside Drinks, “Ireland spends $688.10 on beer per person per year – only beaten by Australia at $452.90.
The advantages of stocking bottled
With the advent of craft brewing, some beers boast bottle-conditioning – another attraction to the craft beer customer. What’s more, bottled beers are ideal for testing out sales of a brand in a pub which can often be the precursor to getting it in on draught.
Bottled beer allow the publican flexibility through being able to stock a far greater range of beer product than would be the case with space-claiming countermounts for draught beers.
The shelf-life of bottled beer can outlast that of draught and they’re more likely to exude a fresh taste on being exposed to the atmosphere. But beware those in clear glass bottles as these can be more prone to oxidation from sunlight, believe the bottled beer gurus.
Perhaps the biggest selling-point for bottled beers today is that people prefer to up the quantity and reliability rather than just quantity, so stocking a decent range of bottled product should be second nature to today’s publican.
If promoted correctly, bottled beer sales can form a significant part of overall beer sales in pubs, being a high margin product that contributes handsomely to the bottom line, but avoid having them contribute too handsomely to that bottom line. The cost of bottled beer is still a sore point with consumers…
Whatever the weather, the outlook could hardly be sunnier for C&C Gleeson which becomes the exclusive distributor of Corona Extra and Corona Light here as of 1st of March.
This global brand is an important new addition to the company’s portfolio.
“Corona is, famously, the leading ‘Sunshine Beer’, dominating that category around the world with a fantastic track record in the UK and Ireland,” explains Brian Beattie, Marketing Director of C&C Gleeson, “This great, fresh and distinctively-flavoured beer has a uniquely engaging brand personality that will complement and add a new dimension to our wide portfolio of big brand beers and ciders. Securing it for C&C Gleeson gives us a brilliant start to 2015.”
Brewed in Mexico since 1929, with an ABV of 4.5%, Corona Extra is made with the finest quality blend of filtered water, malted barley, hops, corn and yeast, balanced to deliver a smooth taste, perfectly suited to easy Summer drinking. It has an unmistakable bright gold colour and its connection with the famous ‘Lime Ritual’ gives it fabulous memorability.
Founded in 1993 by Tony Magee it’s now amongst the biggest names in American Craft brewing. Its impressive growth curve has been enhanced by the opening of a new brewery in Chicago. This has seen it leap to becoming the fifth-largest producer of craft beer in the US — a long way from its humble origins in Tony’s garage in the town of Lagunitas, California.
With the opening of the new brewery came the ability to explore the possibility of export. Ireland has been chosen as the third country in Europe that the brewery will supply directly to and the whole team at Grand Cru Beers are very excited to have Lagunitas beers as the latest addition to its portfolio.
IPA is the flagship beer in the assortment, however a range of seasonals and limited production beers will also be available in both bottle and keg.
Bottled Beers from McGargles
McGargles pack a lot of flavour into its bottled beers. Bottled quality beers such as the McGargles family of beers, brewed at the Rye River Brewery in Kilcock, Co Kildare, deliver incredible choice and cater to the changing tastes of beer drinkers who’re looking to drink one or two quality beers at home or when out with friends.
Beer lovers look for depth of flavour and are interested in the brewing process! No longer are they seen as the poor cousin to wine connoisseurs but as contenders that can be savoured with the most elegant of meals at the poshest restaurants, when entertaining at home, or simply when one wants to relax with a great-tasting beer while hanging out with friends down at the local.
McGardle’s philosophy is that while you can’t choose your family, you can choose your beer! And it has some great bottled beer for customers to choose from.
Cousin Rosie’s Pale Ale perfectly balances bitter citrus fruit notes with a caramelised palate. The hop aroma gives a strong tropical fruit sensation of pink grapefruit, mango and citrus from the Chinook and Summit hops used to dry hop the beer. The aroma is perfectly balanced by the taste as the hop character follows through in the taste giving it a well-rounded finish.
For a more potent ale, Knock Knock Ned’s real India Pale Ale has a perfect balance of sweetness and bitter hops. Initial tones of citrus-like fruit are followed by a bitter-sweet hoppy pallet.
Finally our award-winning Granny Mary’s Red Ale, a fiery malt-driven red ale balanced by bitter hops that give it a well-rounded taste.