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Which UK cities are the most experimental when it comes to trying new drinks?

New research by sour beer brewer Vault City has revealed which UK cities are the most experimental when it comes to trying out different drinks.

which UK cities are the most experimental when it comes to trying new drinks?

Lockdown has made UK drinkers more experimental when it comes to trying out new tipples, new research by Vault City has found. Indeed, a third (31%) of UK consumers said they are now likely to be ‘more experimental’ when it comes to choosing drinks than they were prior to March 2020.

So which cities trumped the rest when it came to braving new flavours? Sheffield and Norwich both took top spot, with residents most likely to be more experimental when choosing alcohol as a result of lockdown.

Legend has it that Norwich possesses 365 pubs – one for each day of the year – along with 52 churches. If true that equates to one for every 584 residents.

London and Birmingham, followed by Glasgow, complete the top five, followed by Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff.

Steven Smith-Hay, founder of Edinburgh-based Vault City Brewing, said the company was “known as the mad scientists of sour beer for our weird and wacky flavour combinations”, encouraging people to “be more experimental when it comes to trying new drinks”.

Vault City produces new sour beers every fortnight with flavours ranging from Iron Brew and Rhubarb and Custard to Winter Berry Smoothie and Mango, Banana, and Coconut Crumble. The brewer has just released three new sour beers – Paradise Punch, a Kiwi Melon Mango Session Sour; Mango Raspberry Melba; and Overnight Oats, flavoured with Blueberry, Raspberry, Acai, Maple Syrup and Coffee in collaboration with Overtone.

The study, conducted by Opinion Matters, among a sample of 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents aged 16+, also found that almost three in 10 people are willing to spend more on less alcohol than they did pre-pandemic, signalling a shift towards more premium beverages.

“Our sales have really spiked since lockdown, and I think it’s a combination of people being willing to try new things, but also expecting more from the drinks they spend their hard-earned money on,” Smith-Hay said. “I think the days of ‘drink as much as you can for as little as you can’ are gone for most, and drinkers are becoming more discerning in their tastes. We’ve noticed they are more willing to pay more for a premium product, with emphasis on production, provenance, and experience rather than price.”

He added: “This appears to be a legacy of lockdowns, and shows that for many, the nation’s relationship with alcohol is changing.”

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