Sunday, October 14, 2007
Is Bordeaux Replacing Bitter in the British Pub?
A pair of reports out of the United Kingdom suggest that wine could some day replace beer as the favorite drink of British pub regulars.
First, a study commissioned by French wineries and funded by the French Ministry of Agriculture states that by 2039 more men will be ordering wine at pubs than calling for pints. The report says that many British men already have a pint at the start of the evening before shifting to wine. The primary reasons given were that a second pint of beer gave them a bloated feeling (68 percent) and the wine selection in the pub was better than the beer offerings (52 percent). The one statistic in the French study that has to trouble U.K. brewers more than any other is that 72 percent of the 1,000 British men surveyed said they consider wine to be a more sociable drink than beer.
Before you dismiss the study as purple stained French propaganda, consider the numbers just released by the British Beer and Pub Association that show the British are drinking less for the second straight year. The 2006 figures show consumption of alcohol down by 3.3 percent in Britain. From 2004 to 2006, pure alcohol intake fell from 9.4 liters to 8.9 liters.
The report shows that beer makes up 43 percent of the nation's alcohol consumption; wine 29%; spirits 20%; and cider and other drinks 8 percent. In 1990 beer held a 57 percent share and wine was 18 percent of the market.