Beverage trends rise and fall fast, but one of these three - fruit-enhanced beers, cold-brew coffee on tap, and whisky barrel-aged beer - might have an impact on your business sometime soon.
1. Shandy or radler, fruit-flavored beers are exploding
Shandy sales have grown 15 per cent by volume and 18 per cent by value over the past 52 weeks, Nielsen data shows. And brewers large and small have taken note. Two summers ago, Heineken’s Amstel Light railer was sold out before summer was done, a mistake they haven’t made since.
Other brands on the market include MillerCoors’ Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Samuel Adams Porch Rocker, Shock Top Lemon Shandy from Anheuser-Busch, Narragansett Del’s Shandy, made in collaboration with Del’s Lemonade and Curious Traveler Lemon Shandy from The Traveler Beer Co., part of Boston Beer Co.’s Vermont-based Alchemy & Science subsidiary.
Lemon mixes are a zesty classic, but the German shandies, known as radlers (German for bicyclists) are also popping up with increasing frequency, with Radeberger’s Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen the best known. Leinenkugel offers a Grapefruit Shandy as well. From Boulevard Ginger-Lemon Radler to Widmer Brothers Hefe Shandy, the style is everywhere - have one on your list?
2. Collaborative brewing gets a boost from Jameson
Spirit producers, like Wild Turkey and others, have been for some time sharing barrels with brewers to create unusual beers. Now Jameson Irish whiskey is expanding its work with American craft beer breweries. Continuing on last year’s collaboration with KelSo Beer Company of Brooklyn, Jameson partnered with five breweries – Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in New York, Deep Ellum Brewing Company in Dallas, Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, and Hilliard's Beer in Seattle - to bring brewers to the distillery in Ireland, and sending them home with Jameson barrels to create a limited edition beer inspired by both their experience in Ireland and their own neighborhood. “The breweries involved share Jameson’s passion for craftsmanship, quality, and creativity,” said Sona Bajaria, Director, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Pernod Ricard USA. “With the creation of these locally brewed Jameson-inspired beers, our goal is to pay homage to the spirit of each brewery’s neighborhood.”
3. Another beverage looking for a tap handle
Nitro cold-brew iced coffee, one of the latest coffee trends, is making an impact in coffee bars around the country. Nitro is simply standard cold-brew coffee pulled from a pressurized nitro tap as for Guinness and other brews, which results in a foamy-headed coffee drink.
Major high-end coffee chain Stumptown has been serving regular cold-brew coffee on tap since 2012, but started experimenting with a coffee experience that would mimic the texture of beer in 2013, and is now serving in all its locations.
Stumptown serves nitro cold brew on tap and in cans, and distributes the popular beverage to coffee shops around the country. Stumptown's director of cold brew, Diane Aylsworth, has been quoted saying demand has tripled since 2014.