What is the top cask beer? The answer will depend on many factors such as personal taste which for many craft beer drinkers is the most important factor. This does not necessarily ensure that a beer becomes a top cask beer as technically it is to do with sales volumes as this is a key determining fact and of course to get into the top 10 you would need to be a large brewery operation which would exclude the likes of a microbrewery or brew pubs. There are literally thousands of breweries that produce a whole range of craft beers either to supply regionally, nationally, and of course Internationally.
As we look at cask beer, we will not look at one beer but the top beers across the USA and UK.
USA sales in the craft category
The sales in 2019 within the USA were a staggering $29,300 million increasing in 2018 which was $27,600 million that is an increase of 6.2% so some going. The growth of cask beer in the US has been consistent sat least since 2011. In 2019 the craft beer market represents 25.2% of the overall beer market which is a good number however that said the growth did slow to 3.6% from 7% the year before.
Top Cask beers by sales
The following is a list of the leading cask beers within the US in relation to sales:
Sales in USD in million 2019
The following is a list of the leading cask beers within the UK in relation to sales.
Sales in British pounds in million 2019 (MAT)
|1||Brewdog Punk IPA||41.49|
|2||Hop House 13||33.37|
|3||Brewdog Dead Pony Club||8.13|
|4||Brewdog Elvis Juice||8.00|
|5||Camden USA Hells||6.94|
|6||Innis & Gunn Craft Lager||5.72|
|7||Brewdod Dog Pack||5.34|
|8||Goose Island IPA||4.52|
|9||Brewdog Indie Pale Ale||4.48|
|10||Blue Moon Wheat Beer||3.91|
The below represents market share as a percentage of cask beer in the off trade (takeaway sales for 2019)
|1||Brewdog Punk IPA||20.7%|
|2||Hop House 13||16.6%|
|3||Brewdog Dead Pony Club||3.8%|
|4||Brewdog Elvis Juice||4.0%|
|5||Camden USA Hells||3.5%|
|6||Innis & Gunn Craft Lager||2.8%|
|7||Brewdod Dog Pack||2.7%|
|8||Goose Island IPA||2.3%|
|9||Brewdog Indie Pale Ale||2.2%|
|10||Blue Moon Wheat Beer||1.9%|
The above are obviously the top cask beers in revenues however there is a vast world out there of some amazing brews being brewed from micro brewers to regional brewers.
Some recommendations for you to try.
Arguably the most popular quality craft beer in the UK is Timothy Taylor Landlord and one not to be missed a 4.3% pale ale cask beer that typifies the premises quality of ales when offered.
Nottingham Brewery offer an impressive range of craft beers and at the top of the list is Legend that is a 4% Bitter which is a real treat.
Beavertown brew an absolute diamond with their American pale ale 5.4% ABV brewed in London and a real treat, in fact Beavertown beers are so popular that they had to expand their brewery. The brew scores 88 on the beer advocate website which is classed as very good.
St Austel their most famous brew Tribute is arguably the South West of England’s favorite beer, 4.2% ABV. It scores 84 on the beer advocate website which is classed as good.
Theakston brew Old Peculiar heads up the team and a higher ABV beer at 5.6% and is one of the best known and loved craft beers in the Country served from the North all the way to the South. It scores 89 on beer advocate website which is classed as very good.
Anchor Brewing Company is an American alcoholic beverage producer, the brewery of which is on Potrero Hill in San Francisco, California. They brew a number of fantastic brews for every palette and strongly recommend sampling them. They produce a mixed case which is a cost effective way to sample these great beers and includes their popular steam beer, pale ale, lager and IPA which is available from Ace Spirits wine & beers by clicking the photo.
A recommendation for a zero sugar and low carb beer then try Lagunitas daytime IPA which is one of the highest rated Low Carb IPA’s in the US.This very light coloured session IPA is a bit spicy. The aroma is from the hops. The flavour is spicy, fresh and hoppy. In the aftertaste you could notice the soft taste of melted cream cheese yum yum! Click on the photo to get delivered and enjoy in the comfort of you own home.
There are an estimated 8,725 craft breweries operating in the USA right now which is a staggering amount and demonstrates how popular the category really is, 942 of these opened within 2019.
California is the biggest state where craft breweries operate with 907 in operation with Colorado and New York with 425, 423 retrospectively as well as Washington also with 423.
In the UK there are 1,978 Craft brewers in operation during 2019 producing craft beer mainly in casks however there is a trend towards other packaging such as keg, cans, and bottles. 21% of all craft beer produced in the UK is exported to, in order of volume USA, Irish Republic, China, France, and Italy.
The U.S. craft beer production volume share in 2019, by category saw the regional craft brewers deliver 68% while microbreweries contributed 18.6%, brew pubs 6.1% and tap rooms delivering 6.1%.
There was a staggering 310,157 x 2.25-gallon cases of craft beer consumed in the US during 2019 whereby females consumed 33% of this.
In the UK, the trend has risen of beer drinkers that understand what craft beer is from 24% in 2016 to 59% in 2019 which demonstrates a rapid rise in awareness within the beer drinking community. Half the beer drinkers purchased craft beer from a bar, pub, or restaurant at least weekly which also confirms the solid consistent following this wonderful tipple has.
As there are so many fantastic breweries across the USA and UK and multiple this by the range of different brews that they produce there are too many to list in one article so rather than try as will not do the breweries or beers justice.
Please feel free If you have some comments regarding craft beers or any favorite brews that we should add to the list please leave a comment below.
Facts and figures supplied from: Brewers Association, IRI; BevNET,Brewers of Europe, morning advertiser, Society of Independent Brewers,HM Revenue and Customs, Society of Independent Brewers, Marstons and NZTE