The UK beer market was worth £15.91bn in 1997, having grown by 5.7% over 1996. Beer takes 54.4% of their consumer spending on alcoholic drinks. The ongoing, long-term trends in this traditional industry sector include a shift from dark beers (ale and stout) towards lager, particularly international brands, such as Budweiser (the US leader), Stella Artois (from Belgium) and Beck’s (from Germany). The most popular dark beer outside the UK is Guinness, now part of Diageo.

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