Is there a ‘hop’-portunity to grow beer in out-of-home dining occasions?

Jazmine Duncan, Strategic Content Manager
April 27, 2022

Consumers are opting for ‘malt’-ernatives when eating out

As the world opens up, we’re seeing a return to out-of-home drinking, and casual dining is an important part of this space. In fact, 15% of OOH alcohol occasions in the UK were centred around eating/snacking in 2021 (i187), while this number jumped to 24% in the US (i218). 

When it comes to out-of-home drinking as a whole, beer is the best performing category. However, when looking at the correlation between alcohol choice and casual dining, beer falls short. Instead of opting for beer with their out-of-home meal, consumers are more likely to choose categories like wine or cocktails.  

*Based on Streetbees data in the UK and the US.

Read this next: 2022 Beer Growth Opportunities

Let’s look at the driving demand space behind these out-of-home alcohol moments to help you position your brand. 

Take action with the right demand spaces 

From our 4.5 million bees, who are constantly sharing their real-time habits and attitudes with us, we’ve found that the ‘Couples Early Evening Refreshments’ demand space over-indexes here - a space which has grown steadily since Q1 2021. This is a relaxed evening occasion, where consumers are looking to sit back and enjoy a drink with their partner. 

When it comes to the drink of choice in this occasion, we‘ve seen an increase in consumers opting for wine or spirits, but a drop in beer consumption. To win back share, beer must do more to compete with other categories in the dining space. 

*Based on Streetbees data in the UK and the US.

So how can you grow your beer brand in this space?

1. Learn from the wine category through pairings 

Food pairings have become integral to the wine category and it’s become rare to see a wine pricing label without a dish recommendation on it. According to our bees, ‘to go with food’ is the main reason for choice in 5% of wine drinking occasions - compared to only 1% for beer. 

To steal share in the casual dining space, consider taking this angle from the wine category and applying it to beer. Add food pairing recommendations for your beers to labels or menus or create a range of beers catered specifically to different dishes. A crisp, fruity number for cheese-based meals or a full-bodied, richer flavour for spicy options, for example. 

*Based on Streetbees data in the UK.

Brand spotlights - ‘this is an uphill bottle’

​​ Birrificio Angelo Poretti’s mission is to ‘elevate dining moments and celebrate beers by placing them at the heart of the dinner table’. 

​​​​​​ Combivino is the first app to pair over 900 types of wine and 76 types of craft beer with food simultaneously via smart matching. 

2. Learn from the cocktail category through flavours  

When it comes to out-of-home alcohol occasions, cocktails are often chosen for their taste and their celebratory feel. In fact, ‘taste’ is the main reason for choice in 47% of OOH cocktail moments, compared to 35% for beer. Similarly, ‘party/celebration’ is the main reason for choice in 10% of OOH cocktail moments, compared to only 2% for beer. 

Learn from the cocktail category by creating something a little more special. Explore beers with different colours, flavours and serving styles. Consider creating a range of beers reminiscent of traditional cocktails or try designing a new cocktail which incorporates beer. An espresso beer-tini, or a fruity B&T perhaps? 

*Based on Streetbees data in the US. 

Brand spotlights - ‘do your brew diligence’

Pipework’s x L&E launched a ‘Brown & Stirred’ beer, inspired by the Manhattan cocktail and brewed with rye malt, cherries, bitters, and lemon.

​​ Two Roads’ ‘Persian Lime Gose’ mixes salty, tart gose with fresh lime and flaked rye to create a lightly-spiced beer, reminiscent of a margherita.


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