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Are Restaurants Missing Out On The Craft-Brewed Beer Boom?

craftbeerNew research shows 1 in 3 people would visit restaurants more often if they served a range of independent craft brewed beer.

New independent research released by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) shows that more than 1 in 3 people would visit restaurants more often if they served a range of craft brewed British beer.

The organisation say that despite the growth in the popularity of craft-brewed beer the majority of restaurants in the UK are not meeting the consumer demand. SIBA would like to set up meetings with small and large restaurants chains to offer them a solution that suits their business so they can benefit from the growing interest in craft brewed beer. SIBA are also encouraging their brewing members to use this research to open doors with their own local, independent restaurants.

Nick Stafford, SIBA’s Operation’s Director said, “Craft-brewed beer is growing in popularity across the UK and the restaurants which have recognised this and started to serve a range of interesting, flavoursome beers have thrived. Unfortunately though most restaurants don’t put in the same effort when it comes to beer as they do when selecting their wine list, something our new research suggests could be seriously damaging their commercial potential.

This new research shows that over a third of people would visit restaurants more if they served craft-brewed beer. It seems consumers are wanting more than the traditional brands associated with perhaps an Indian or Italian restaurant. SIBA has access to thousands of different beers and therefore we would like to work with restaurants in the UK to create the right beer solutions for their businesses.”

SIBA currently represents more than 850 independent brewers who brew in excess of 5,000 different beers that offer a wide range of colours, tastes, strengths and styles. SIBA’s ‘BeerFlex’ service is already used by many of the large pub-companies to supply their pubs with independently brewed craft beer from SIBA members, and the not-for-profit organisation say the model is now being adapted to work for restaurants too, with a focus on bottle, canned and kegged beer, which is easier for restaurants to store and for their staff to manage.

“The advances made in quality bottled, canned and craft-keg beer means that it has never been easier for outlets beyond pubs to sell beer. Craft-brewed, canned beer generally comes in smaller 330ml cans, which can be stacked, fit neatly in fridges and get cool quickly – making them the perfect choice for restaurants who want to serve beer but don’t have the space or expertise to look after draught beer lines.”  Nick added.

It’s clear that the quality of beer in the UK has never been better and there has never been this much choice. From classic British Golden Ales, stouts and porters, to American influenced IPAs and Pale Ales, or even Belgian inspired saisons and sour beers – the breadth of styles being brewed in the UK in 2016 is staggering.

One restaurant which is getting it right, and was named the UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant by SIBA is Bundobust in Leeds, which fuses Indian street food with local and international craft beer.

“Beer was always going to be the star of the show at Bundobust. We took the nations favourite drink & the nations favourite food & put them together in a unique way. We have a beer list of 90 beers all of them complement our Indian street food. From Hoppy IPAs & pales, to salty goses brewed with coriander, & wheat beers that complement & cut through the spice. Bombay Dazzler, our house beer brewed by the local Northern Monk, is a Witbier brewed with Belgian yeast, coriander, ginger & cardamom. It’s light & easy & is the perfect accompaniment to our food. We are a casual Indian restaurant & we feel there is no better drink than beer to go with our food.” Said Mark Husak, owner of Bundobust in Leeds, who adds that the tide is turning and more restaurants are now discovering the importance of a good beer list to their business.

”Until recently the standard of beer in restaurants has been pretty poor. Even in high end places where the wine lists were amazing, beer was always a second thought & main stream brews were the only ones on offer. Thankfully this is changing & forward thinking restaurants are starting to have cracking beer lists. From burger places like MeatLiquour & Byron to high end restaurants like Hawksmoor & Manchester House, beer with its many complex varieties & styles is being taken seriously & often is a better choice than wine. What’s better than a Belgian Wit with Fish & Chips, an IPA with a curry, or a Barley Wine with a cheese board” Mark added.

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