Craft and cask beer may get all the headlines but lager remains the most important style in the market, accounting for almost three quarters of sales. 

The market has plateaued in recent years but Mintel expect this to give way to "modest growth" over the next few years, with sales reaching £13.1 billion by 2020.

Tapping into the lucrative "with food" market would help lager's fortunes further, with 30 per cent of beer drinkers already typically drinking beer, rather than wine, with food 

Big Number: 75 per cent of beer sales are lager

Changing glassware may also generate growth, with women showing a clear preference for smaller serves and Chalice-shaped glassware, according to Mintel research.

Classic pint glasses remain popular with other drinkers however, 27 per cent of on-trade beer drinkers saying they prefer a nonic glass and 16 per cent a tulip glass.

The category continues to benefit from housing some of the biggest retail brands in the UK, with Stella Artois, Foster's, Carlsberg, Budweiser and Carling making up the top five.

AB InBev's purchase of SAB Miller last year (2016) has led to further consolidation of the market and analysts suggest this could lead to a fresh wave of acquisitions and disposals.

 

All statistics from Mintel

 

CI-lager 2017

 

Check out the rest of our Category Insights series by clicking on the links below:

Cider

Wine

Cask Ale

Soft Drinks

Spirits