Seven Beer trends becoming mainstream in 2018
Seven Beer trends becoming mainstream in 2018
The world of beer is reinventing itself everyday. And while new and better recipes stretch and inspire new consumption trends, packaging are also changing, fuelled by how younger consumers perceive convenience and sustainability. Of course much of the creativity is the brainchild of master brewers infusing their art in craft beers around the world. And while many of these innovations are becoming more and more well known, some of those never leapfrog to a trend. But then, yet again, some of this innovative ideas are reaching critical mass, by influencing others and by becoming mainstream.
- Beyond Flavorization: one of the most important industry phenomenon in the past few years, has been the emergence of low ABV flavored beer and ciders. First and foremost because they are a beer product which finally got to the female consumer; and they achieved their objective without the need of girly packaging or look and feel codes, and therefore recruited also a lot of man in the process. Moreover this category established themselves as the new beacon of the “refreshment” consumption occasion, while at the same time being very relevant in Food. The industry had tried – very unsuccessfully – to achieve that result, and finally now low ABV flavored beer and ciders are sourcing their volumes from sodas, waters and non-alcoholic beverages. As you may have seen for yourself, wherever you go in the world, you’ll notice that beer tastes different. So you may find that beer from the US differs from beer over in Germany for example. You might not even be able to find your favourite beer in one country, but can locate is easily somewhere else. In what we labeled “Beyond Flavorization” we see three aspects: first the emergence of vegetable flavoring processes; then more and more beer offer a fruit infusion in higher ABV recipes, and the flavoring to smooth and dilute ales, so that are more suitable as session drinks.
- Barrel Aging and Fermenting: since the beginning of the craft beer phenomena beer aficionados have been obsessed with barrel aging and barrel fermentation, which until now was limited to special editions or very premium products. We expect this trend to be very relevant in the modern on-trade, where certain outlets will want an “upgraded” recipe of draft beer. Of course the type of food and the finish will give many customization possibilities.
- Return to the Origin: craft beer meant first of all a broader set of recipes from the traditional lager/ pilsener based hi-volume beers. As a matter of facts, one side effect of craft beer rising, is the broadening of the offering of the type of beer. In the latest wave we also see a return to traditional, low IBU recipes, which is already being pushed by Heineken in their regional brands (e.g., see Zywiec in Poland). So besides the seasonal Boch, get ready for more Marzen, Saison, Kolsch and Altbier.
- Premiumization of the can: according to younger beer consumers, the aluminum can has a double benefit as a beer container. First of all, it is more convenient to recycle. Second, it is faster to bring to serving temperature. And so, while mainstream beer positioned the can not as a recruiting tool, increasingly more sophisticated can designs are emerging in the world of beer.
- Got Milk? Combining milk and beer sounds unconventional is not eerie to the mainstream consumers, but is quite the opposite with more expert beer aficionados. And while probably we will not see a big mainstream push for milk stouts or sweet and cream stout, we could expect some special, seasonal product to be lactose based. So the least likely to happen of our seven beer trends.
- Food Pairings: food and beer pairing are nothing new, but more and more beers are specifically developed with a food pairing in mind. Recently Grupo Damm launched a red lager, in collaboration with Catalan chef Ferran Adria, to pair with spicy ceviche. As low ABV flavored beer opened the door to more sophisticated food pairing, and with the consolidation of the gourmet street food trend, we can expect more beers to be launched to complement or enhance a particular dish
- Collaboration: nothing new in the world of craft beer, and nothing new in the world of food pairing. But as home brewing is becoming more popular, more and more of the celebrities’ collaboration, which are happening already in spirits, are going to emerge in beer. Be ready to see more actors, pro sport players and artists co-brewing a limited edition version for one of the largest brands.