The survey was conducted on TheTaste.ie on behalf of the IBA, with over 1,300 respondents taking part. It aimed to explore beer consumers’ drinking preferences in Ireland including where and what they drink.
With some 100 microbreweries now operating around the country there’s more choice than ever, claims the IBA. Many consumers now choose beer in restaurants and bars to consume with food and according to the research 51% of beer drinkers either ‘always’ or ‘often’ pair beer with food when eating out.
But while there’s an unprecedented variety of beers available to consumers there’s also demand for more beer options to be available in restaurants. Some 45% of beer drinkers say there’s not enough choice of beer on restaurant menus.
The survey found 40% of people saying that their favourite beer-drinking experience is in a pub with friends compared to nearly 16% who prefer drinking at home with family. 15% prefer to do so at a Bar-B-Que.
The research showed that many consumers change their beer of choice throughout the year. Some 45% of beer drinkers either always or often change beer preferences, with 43% 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 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,” said IBA Head Jonathan McDade, “What’s really exciting to see is the increasing diversity in the sector. There’s 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.”