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Thursday, February 25, 1999 Published at 08:52 GMT


Breezer or Brooksider?

Ready for Steaming? Or a quick Brookside after work?

The next time a colleague suggests a quick pint after work or a friend invites you out for a Friday night knees up, beware. A British brewery knows reckons it knows exactly what is going on.

The Whitbread Beer Company can probably tell you where you will go, what you will drink and even when you will go home.

The firm is watching us consume its products and has divided the UK's drinkers into seven different types.

Message in a bottle

These are not people who love beers or spirits, or prefer wine to whisky. Instead the survey concentrates on how we drink.

[ image: The Queen Vic: Home of the
The Queen Vic: Home of the "homer"
Some of the names given to each section of pub life or cafe society are obvious enough.

For example, the Poser is the sort of drinker who is more worried about the label on the bottle than the taste of the liquid.

And the Breezer is the average socialiser who is not just here for the beer - company and conversation are more important.

But some of the categories Whitbread has come up with following its survey of of 3,000 drinkers aged between 18 and 50 are more unusual.

[ image:
"Brooksiders" don't follow the storyline
The Brooksider actually has little to do with Channel 4's soap opera - he usually just catches the end credits as he rolls home.

But the Homer has a lot in common with characters in the BBC's Eastenders, even if he or she is rarely at home to see the television.

Whitbread says the study is the most comprehensive survey of drinker behaviour ever undertaken.

Despite the seven pigeonholes, Managing Director Stewart Gilliland says the 18-month long survey shows how unpredictable we have actually become.

"It is not unusual for one individual to exhibit a range of characteristics from each of the seven drinker types and to shift drinking patterns dramatically," he said.

"Often someone seen out 'steaming' on a Friday night will be 'brooksiding' on a Wednesday."

Seven types of drinker

So what will you be tonight?

  • Breezer: The most common style - drinking is just part of a good night out. Often takes place in cafe bars in a relaxed atmosphere between friends.
  • Steamer: The rowdy Friday night out in town, where groups of lads or girls aim to drink as much as possible. The survey hails Liam Gallagher king of the steamers.
  • Poser: Drinking as fashion statement. Taste and strength are put aside in favour of style. It usually involves bottled beers in trendy city centre bars.
  • Brooksider: An hour or two between work and home for young men with new wives or young children. A pint or two is usually followed by a mad dash home before the television soaps end.
  • Homer: Found escaping the world in one of those soaps - the Queen Vic in EastEnders. With his preference for the bar instead of family life, perhaps the father in the Simpsons has an appropriate name too.
  • Savourer: The serious drinker. He loves real ales and will consider trying most once. More likely older and male.
  • Adaptor: Just turned 18 with a bit of money but without the confidence to make an informed decision, they are more likely to go with the flow when making a drinking choice.

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