Skip to main content
13th June 2024

Lager and Fruit – a New Look for Craft Beer

Data from the Bristol, Manchester and London Craft Beer Festivals shows an increase of more than 40% in the number of lagers and fruit beers on show over the last two years. There’s also a five-fold increase in the number of black lagers this year.

We are Beer, organiser of the hugely successful Bristol, Manchester and London Craft Beer Festivals, is reporting a significant rise in the number of lagers and fruit beers on offer at its festivals over the last two years, pointing to some significant new trends emerging in the beer sector.

The number of lagers available to taste at the events has increased by over 40% since 2022. In total, there’ll be in excess of 150 to taste at the festivals this year. Of these, three styles of lager are emerging: the more sessionable lower-ABV Helles; the stronger, snappier Pilsner, and more hoppy versions of the classic-style lager.

Black lagers have also experienced a noticeable rise, with a five-fold increase in the number available to taste at this year’s festivals compared to 2023. This is likely as a result of the surge in popularity of stout (Tesco reported a 35% increase in sales across the stout category last year).

Other beer trends to watch out for include a rise in Radlers (a fruity shandy originating from Germany) with 10 breweries showcasing Radlers at the events this year, compared to just two last year. This reflects the growing popularity of fruit beers, with 44 on show at Bristol Craft Beer Festival this last weekend, the highest number to date.

The line-up of beers at the three festivals not only reflects these emerging trends but also more established ones, including that of no and low alcohol beers. Twice as many pale ales between 3 and 3.5% ABV are available in 2024 compared to last year, alongside five times as many beers at 0.5% ABV or under. Four breweries are also using the festivals to launch new 0.5% brews this year, including Wiper & True, with its new Kaleidoscope 0.5% set to join their existing non-alcoholic beer, Tomorrow – which is now their second largest beer by volume.

Greg Wells, co-founder of We are Beer, said: “For anyone wanting to identify emerging beer trends and taste new brews, our festivals are the best place to be, with more than 1,000 beers to taste and over 200 brewers from all over the globe showing beers of all styles.

“This year the increase in the number of lagers being poured is significant and demonstrates how the craft beer sector is evolving. The emergence of black lager is also something new and, at the same time, we are very excited to see if Radlers will become all the rage in 2024 and beyond, as consumers continue to drink more mindfully and seek out lower alcohol alternatives.”

With the Bristol Craft Beer Festival having already taken place, with a record-breaking 6000 beer fans in attendance last weekend (7th and 8th of June), Manchester Craft Beer Festival will be next on the 5th and 6th of July, followed by London Craft Beer Festival on the 9th and 10th of August.

There are dedicated trade sessions available on the first day of both these events, which are free to attend for anyone working in the beer industry. If you are eligible and would like to arrange a free ticket, please email

For non-trade tickets and for more information please visit

For more information please contact:


Notes for Editors:

Manchester Craft Beer Festival will take place on 5th and 6th July, The Depot Mayfield.

London Craft Beer Festival will take place on 9th and 10th August, Tabacco Dock.

Confirmed partner breweries include: Tiny Rebel, Siren, Deya, Verdant, Budvar, Stone Brewing, Brewers Association of America, Timothy Taylor, St Austell, Magic Rock, Duvel Moortgat, Brixton, North Brewing, Gipsy Hill, SALT, Stone Brewing, and Cloudwater.

For more information please contact:

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.