Tesco reports that sales of pale malt beer seen as ‘stepping stone’ from lager to ale have risen by 40% on last year
Golden ale is the UK’s fastest growing beer variety, having lured increasing numbers of drinkers away from the dominant and heavily promoted lager brands.
Retail analyst Nielsen reports that sales of golden ale have soared by 26% in the last year across all retailers, while sales of lager fell by 3% over the same period.
At Tesco, the UK’s biggest beer retailer, the trend is even more marked with year-on-year growth of 40%, far larger than for any other type of beer.
Industry experts say golden ale has become the stepping stone for younger drinkers as they switch from lager to ale.
Among the most popular golden ales are Thwaites Wainwright, Greene King Old Golden Hen, Greene King IPA, St Austell Tribute, Badger Fursty Ferret, and Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted.
Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide called the trend “a remarkable turnaround. A few small brewers in the 1980s launched golden ales because they didn’t have the right equipment to make lager but wanted to introduce younger drinkers to the delights of paler beers.
“The beauty of golden ales is that they’re made only with pale malt, so there are no roasted, darker malts to impede the hops. The result is a beer style that positively bursts with tangy, zesty and citrus hop flavours.”
Tesco ale buyer Chiara Nesbitt added: “Over the last five years ale has made a resounding revival as a flavoursome beer that is now appealing to a younger generation of beer drinkers. Golden ale with its light and refreshing taste is playing a major role in this revival as it is the beer lager drinkers first generally try if they want to switch to ale.”