As demand for bottled ale continues to soar a unique map reveals the UK's brewing hotspots
23 Mar 2016
When it comes to producing the UK’s favourite bottled beers Suffolk is the UK’s champion – a unique ale map of Britain can reveal. The East Anglian county is home to five of Britain’s most popular bottled ales including the No 1 top seller, Old Speckled Hen.
Other Suffolk ales making it into the top 25 list include Old Crafty Hen, Abbot, Broadside and Old Golden Hen.
The map of ‘Brew-tain’ was created by Tesco after it recently carried out a geographical review of all its most popular bottled ales.
Ale has never been more popular and last year demand for bottled ales grew by 14 per cent.
At Tesco the growth was even higher – rising by over 17 per cent – that’s nearly an extra 9 million bottles sold at Tesco in the last 12 months to 30 January 2016 (Nielsen Scantrack data).
Tesco ale buyer Chiara Nesbitt said: “We offer a fantastic range of quality ales at Tesco and it’s great to see Suffolk crowned as the UK’s ale brewing capital, producing five of Britain’s 25 most popular bottled ales including the country’s top seller, Old Speckled Hen.
“But Cornwall is right behind it with four top sellers and as our map reveals, there is now a fantastic diversity of different tasting, quality ales that are popular across the British Isles – a beer for just about every palate and every occasion.
“The ale revival, which started 10 years ago, shows no sign of slowing down and has actually gained momentum in the last few years with more and more of our customers now matching the beer we offer with our food.
“In the last few years demand for bottled ale at Christmas and Easter has rocketed and that’s because of its growing status as a drink, like wine to complement the taste of food.”
With Easter around the corner Tesco is helping customers by matching ales from the list with some of the most popular foods enjoyed by customers over the Easter weekend.
Lamb – This Easter classic is ideally paired with a strong tasting beer such as Hobgoblin to complement the richness of the meat.
Salmon – A light ale will bring out delicate flavours of the salmon. A good recommendation is Proper Job or Badger Golden Champion.
Sweet dessert such as sticky toffee pudding – a golden ale such as Fullers London Pride to bring out the sweetness of the pudding.
Chocolate Easter eggs – For any adults enjoying a chocolate egg this Easter the dark, rich and fruity aromas from Theakstons Old Peculiar will enhance the taste of the chocolate.
Hot cross buns – A sweet ale with spicy notes such as Old Speckled Hen would be a good match.
Vegetarian roast dinner –A perfectly balanced beer such as Doom Bar would suit any meal including foods made with nuts, Quorn or falafel.
Notes to editors:
Tesco’s top selling bottled ales are as follows:
1. Old Speckled Hen – Suffolk – Amber Ale
2. Doom Bar – Cornwall - Amber Ale
3. Hobgoblin – Oxfordshire – Strong Dark Ruby Ale
4. Newcastle Brown – North Yorkshire – Traditional Brown Ale
5. Theakston Old Peculiar – North Yorkshire – Strong Dark Ale
6. Old Crafty Hen – Suffolk – Strong Ale
7. Bank’s Bitter – West Midlands – Amber Ale
8. London Pride – London – Amber Ale
9. Proper Job – Cornwall – Golden IPA
10. McEwan’s Champion – Edinburgh – Strong Dark Ale
11. Black Sheep Ale – North Yorkshire – Amber Ale
12. St Austell Tribute – Cornwall – Pale Ale
13. Brewdog Punk IPA – Aberdeenshire – Golden IPA
14. Bishop’s Finger – Kent – Strong Ale
15. Landlord – West Yorkshire – Pale Ale
16. Badger Golden Champion – Dorset – Golden Ale
17. Spitfire – Kent – Amber Ale
18. Abbot – Suffolk – Amber Ale
19. Old Golden Hen - Suffolk – Golden Ale
20. Badger Fursty Ferret – Dorset – Amber Ale
21. King Goblin – Oxfordshire - Strong Dark Ale
22. Innis & Gunn Original – Edinburgh – Oak Aged IPA
23. Adnam’s Broadside – Suffolk – Strong Dark Ale
24. Sharp's Atlantic - Cornwall - Pale Ale
25. Bombardier – Bedfordshire – Amber ale
A beginner’s guide to the different types of ale:
Amber ale - Amber ales are the most popular ales in the UK, classic best bitters usually with a mixture of barley malts that develop a rich colour and with just the right amount of hops to create beautifully balanced beers.
Strong ale - Just like amber ales but brewed for a stronger flavour.
Strong dark ale - Brewed for a stronger flavour with darker barley malts, often producing rich, sumptuous spicy or fruity flavours.
Brown ale - A classic traditional ale with nutty flavours that has stood the test of time.
IPA - India Pale Ale - Originally brewed in the days of the Empire, brewed with higher alcohol and more hops (which act as a preservative), so the beers could last the long ship journey from Britain to India. Bitter, strong and aromatic.
Pale ale - Golden to amber in colour, these ales are only pale in comparison to the dark beers that used to be the predominant style in days gone by. Usually aromatic and bitter through the generous use of hops, but not as strong or bitter as an IPA.
Golden ale - These lighter coloured and balanced beers are an increasingly popular style, and more often accessible for lager drinkers.
Porter - A classic style of beer, associated with very hard water areas, such as London or Dublin. Porters are made with rich roasted malts and barley for a fuller flavour.
For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01707 918 701
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