2012 was the year of the India Pale Ale… and its momentum has continued in early 2013



LEESBURG, VA (April 5, 2013)

According to GuestMetrics, based on its database of POS sales in restaurants and bars, India Pale Ale displayed the strongest growth and market share gains of all the various types of beer last year in the on-premise channel.

“Of the over 25 different types of beer classifications we have in our system, India Pale Ale displayed the strongest unit growth in 2012 at +39% compared to the prior year, and in terms of share of the overall beer category, also displayed the largest gain at about 55 basis points,” said Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC.  “While IPA is still quite small at just 1% of all beers sold in on-premise, our data indicates thus far in 2013, India Pale Ale’s strength has actually picked up some additional strength, growing units at 40% compared to the prior year, and achieving around a 70 basis point share gain.”  Based on data from GuestMetrics, the IPA brands with the largest share gains last year were from Widmer , Lagunitas , Sierra Nevada , and Ballast Point .

“At the other end of the spectrum are the Pale Lagers, which are the largest of the different beer types with a 33% share of all beers sold.  Pale Lagers saw unit sales contract by 5% in 2012 compared to the prior year, and as a result, experienced by far the largest share loss at about 170 basis points in 2012,” said Peter Reidhead, VP of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics.  “Additionally, in analyzing the quarter of 2013, the picture does not appear to be improving for Pale Lagers, with units contracting 6.2% against prior year, and the share loss accelerating slightly to 180 basis points.”  Based on data from GuestMetrics, the Pale Lager brands with the largest share loss last year were Miller Lite, Bud Light, and Budweiser.

“It’s important for restaurant and bar operators to understand the rapidly changing dynamics in the beer category to ensure their offerings are on-trend and optimize sales and profits,” said Brian Barrett, President of GuestMetrics. “While it’s important to have a balanced offering that includes mainstream beers, the strong growth in India Pale Ale and the other ales should prove to be a positive, particularly given the difference in pricing.  The average Ale is priced at $5.62 versus $4.51 for the average Lager, and the pricing specifically for an IPA is even more favorable, at $5.88.”

About GuestMetrics LLC

GuestMetrics, LLC is revolutionizing how the hospitality industry operates.  Despite the dawn of the Digital Age having begun more than three decades ago, the hospitality industry essentially functions the same way it did centuries before.  GuestMetrics has cracked the code by collecting data from tens of thousands of restaurants, and turning billions of raw transactions into intelligible data that is fundamentally transforming the business operations of everyone from the independently-owned bar/restaurant on the corner, to multi-national chains, to the food & beverage companies that supply them.  Please visit for more information and to arrange for a free demonstration.