Pandemic ‘premiumisation’ sparks beer tap and tech review for 67% of operators

According to the beer line cleaning system provider, pubgoer palates becoming more refined as a result of opting for premium drinks at home during pandemic lockdowns has prompted operators to review and invest in their beer ranges to ensure they meet changing consumer tastes.

A new study of landlords and bar owners by Beer Piper in partnership with The MA​ has found almost 67% are reviewing their range as a result of premiumisation, with just shy of 60% adding and investing in new ales and 59% doing the same for craft beers.

Despite Brits being kept away from their favourite pubs and bars for the best part of 2020, they are looking for quality serves now that they can enjoy their favourite establishments again.

According to Beer Piper’s research, almost seven-in-10 operators say their beer offering is of critical importance to their venue, with almost 80% claiming that the beer quality is a difference maker among their regulars.

Elsewhere, just under half (47.2%) of those quizzed said that they will be investing in technology to ensure the smooth running and longevity of their beer business, while 41% have reviewed their opening hours.

Pandemic ‘premiumisation’ sparks beer tap and tech review for 67% of operators

Additionally, 50% have invested in outdoor equipment while more than 46% have invested in marketing tools – including social media, PR and advertising – to give their business a boost off the back of three nationwide lockdowns and heavily dented trade.

Jeff Singer, commercial manager for Beer Piper which commissioned the survey, reflected that it’s good to see that great beer is at the top of the list for landlords when it comes to post-lockdown investment.

“Craft beer and ale companies and small artisan breweries have shown tremendous creativity during lockdown and the range of quality British beers that we have on offer now in the UK on-trade is simply incredible,” he explained.

“It’s no doubt been the toughest year for smaller breweries, especially ones that had recently opened taprooms in the craft beer boom over the last few years, but the good news is that UK punters are looking for quality, so premium beers can shine again over the summer.”

Singer added that, from his point of view, it’s clear that Brits are looking for “absolute perfection” when it comes to beer, and that operators and bar owners are looking for ways to provide it.

“To pull the perfect pint, we always advise landlords to ensure that their beer lines are cleaned regularly using the proper cleaning solutions to ensure that serve quality is the best it can be,” he said.

“This will make sure that drinkers return for more as they can enjoy the beers of their choice served at the right temperature, in the correct glassware and from spotlessly clean beer lines at all times. The passion poured out by craft and artisan ale brewers is insurmountable, so the quality needs to be kept up from barrel to glass.

“It’s also great to see that technology is being seen as a crucial investment by many pubs and bars nationwide,” he continued. “High-tech systems for beer line cleaning, ordering or POS can help to speed things up for staff, free up their time, ensure efficiency and save money in the long term.”