Brands Report 2021: Beer

Given the nature of high-end cocktail bars the Brands Report lends itself more to lager and lighter styles of beer over stouts and real ale, with Diageo’s Guinness proving the exception to the rule.

Not only do expensive hotel bars tend to serve beer as a refreshment before cocktails, they rarely have draft options on display, which makes it a difficult space for brands to facilitate. Japanese brewery Asahi fits perfectly with this style and will be revelling in its success in 2021. Its namesake brand and its Italian lager Peroni Nastro Azzurro have overtaken Heineken to become the first and second bestselling beer brands in our poll of the world’s top bars.

Asahi Super Dry was the number one beer choice in 18% of the bars, while Peroni picked up 11%, ahead of some of the world’s biggest beer brands. Since Asahi began producing its Super Dry expression from the Peroni brewery in north Italy in 2018, the company has pushed its beer hard in the premium on-trade. Asahi Super Dry has focused its marketing in recent years on the major industry events, including The World’s 50 Best Bars and the Class Bar Awards, which seems to have rubbed off in the top bars given its increased popularity. 

However, this year is the lowest that Heineken has finished in the bestselling rankings since the birth of the Brands Report, with Corona pushing the Dutch brand down to fourth. The six-time champion was the number one choice in just 7% of bars, while Scotland’s Brewdog has made the list for the third successive year following its astronomical rise from craft in 2007 to major international brand. Brewdog’s ascent to sixth from 10th sits in line with the fact it was the top-trending beer in our 2020 list. As the craft movement continues to sweep through the brewing industry, the brand will likely continue its climb up the ranks.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.