Lagers, wine gain in Britain

Wines and lagers continue to make inroads in Britain, where traditional ales have long been the drink of choice. In fact, in 2002, none of the top ten beer brands sold at supermarkets, off-licenses and other retailers were ales.

A new survey AC Neilsen on behalf of Off Licence News, based on 2002 sales figures, showed Guinness Draught as the highest traditional ale in 11th place, down from fifth in 2001.

Meanwhile, a longer-term trend shows that wine sales are rapidly closing in on beer, as British drinking habits increasingly mirror those in countries such as France and Italy.

The most popular beer brand, Stella Artois, registered off-premise sales of