Beer firms appeal to women to halt slide

The British beer industry is attempting to revamp the image of the nation's favourite beverage and stall falling sales with a campaign to capture women and diners.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) will launch the campaign, called Beautiful Beer, next week.

It aims to promote beer as a drink to be enjoyed in moderation, with a meal, to attract people on occasions when they might otherwise choose wine.

'Beer is a natural product and just as healthy to drink in moderation as wine,' said Coors Brewers external communications manager Paul Hegarty, whose chief executive Peter Kendall chairs the BBPA Beer Image committee. 'Beer also has a greater range of styles and flavours than wine.'

Hegarty added that while men aged 18 to 25 are the biggest consumers of beer, women are the only demographic group who go to the pub more often nowadays than 20 years ago.

He also said that showing journalists the range of beer that was available and inviting them to experience beer at meals was the best way to tackle the media's 'ignorance' about beer.

Beer consumption in the UK fell three per cent each year from 1999 to 2003 according to Datamonitor, mostly at the expense of wine.

As the trade organisation for the beer and pub industry, BBPA's members are responsible for 98 per cent of beer brewed in the UK.

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