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Survey Shows an Increase in Food and Beer Pairings – Is Beer the New Wine?

According to a new online survey conducted by the Irish Brewers Association (IBA), lager is the nation’s favourite beer! 45% of respondents stated that lager is their beer of choice, and 22% chose IPA’s. Stout was the least popular choice, with an 11% share.

TheTaste.ie conducted the survey on behalf of the IBA, with over 1,300 respondents taking part. The aim of the survey was 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, most bars and restaurants now stock an extensive range of beers, giving consumers more choice than ever when eating out. According to the research, 51% of beer drinkers either always or often opt to pair beer with food instead of wine.

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

The survey found that 40% of people say their number one spot to drink beer is in a pub with friends. Almost 16% prefer drinking at home with family and 15% prefer a BBQ.

Alike wine drinkers, the research showed that many consumers change their beer of choice throughout the year. 45% of beer drinkers stated that they often change their beer preferences, with 43% changing due to seasonal factors.

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.”

Continuing on Jonathan 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.”

The number of low and non-alcoholic beers on the market has seen a rise in recent years, giving consumers who want a night without alcohol, 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.

Speaking further Jonathan said: “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.”

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