A whopping 40 per cent of those served bad quality beer go on to avoid the pub they were served it in and 33% subsequently steer clear of the brand.

For cask ale fans the report shows that consistent quality is the most important factor for them when choosing where to drink, followed by the range of beers on offer and the service.

For licensees who already sell good quality ale, stocking a range of styles remains the most beneficial way to maximise sales and appeal to more drinkers, according to the report.

Be wary of churning your beers too much though, most drinkers (63 per cent according to this report) want guest ales to be available between two weeks and one month.

The report also suggests that lager drinkers are far more brand loyal than ale drinkers, with 41 per cent preferring to stick to their favourites and 48 per cent highly influenced by its availability within a pub.

Ale drinkers, meanwhile, are by far the most experimental customers and more likely to buy across multiple sub-categories based on occasion and seasonality.

Premiumisation was another trend highlighted in the report, which showed it is dramatically impacting on the beer category – 72 per cent of lager launches are now premium, and the craft ale sector is more valuable than stout.


MARSTONS beer report 19 2


This shows that pub goers are buying better but they are also buying less overall – with drinkers in the on-trade this year consuming 66.5m fewer pints of beer than they did last year but spending £177.8m more.

The report advises operators to capitalise on this by offering a wider beer range alongside additional offers, like food, which contribute towards improved overall value for experience. It also identifies the opportunity for a pricing ladder, allowing operators to deliver fair prices and enabling consumers to take control of when they premiumise their drinks choice.

"Understanding the drinker will help pubs to sell more beer by ensuring the right brands are in the right outlets," said Louise Fleming, head of consumer marketing at Marston's.

"Providing the correct range is key to increase sales and with more drinkers now wanting to be able to experiment, getting the balance between choice and quality is essential. It is important to understand how lifestyle trends will affect the future of innovation in beer, bringing the consumer into the heart of everything we do."