Top Drink Trends to Watch in 2017

Here are some trends I’m tracking for this year. Wine’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down – something that can’t be said about beer. Craft brews are starting to run out of steam leading to layoffs at many breweries around the country.

WINE:

New Windsor Great Park Sparkling Wine: The Queen turns wine-maker (Source: Daily Mail UK)

  • The Brits are crazy about making their own sparkling wines and the Queen is in on the action.
  • Her new sparkling wine – all 3000 bottles of it – sold out immediately, a second batch is due to be released in the fall.
  • She’s not the first royal to be in the wine business. Henry II cultivated grapes at Windsor Castle in the 12th Century.

Sherry (Source: AV Club)

  • Seeing more sherry wines on menus – and as an ingredient in cocktails – but can’t say I am personally a fan.
  • Interesting aside on the name: “sherry” comes from an English corruption of the pronunciation of Jerez, the oldest wine-producing region in Spain where sherries are made.

Millennials vs. Boomers (Sources: Business Insider and Washington Post)

  • Millennials consumed 42% of all wine drunk in the US last year.
  • Per capita consumption of wine has tripled to 3 gallons per person per year since the 60’s.
  • Quality wines — over $10 a bottle — are growing dramatically, while wines under $5 a bottle are shrinking.
  • Baby boomers are retiring, on fixed incomes, and expected to spend less on wine – both on and off premise.
  • While boomers favored California wines, millennials are receptive to wines from around the world.
  • Generic wine, which many older boomers favored, has permanently lost its appeal not just to consumers but to producers.

Read on below for news on bottled, prepared cocktails and the latest on craft brews.

BOTTLED COCKTAILS (Source: Chicago Business)

Crafthouse Cocktails was the first major investment of liquor giant Constellation Brands’ in-house venture group. They capitalized on both the rising interest in craft spirits as well as on award-winning bartender, Charles Joly, who developed the brand (and had previously worked at the Aviary).

Crafthouse sales are projected to more than double this year as the brand moves into new markets and launches a new cocktail, bourbon-based Gold Rush. This new cocktail combines Michigan-made Traverse City Straight Bourbon Whiskey with honey, lemon and Angostura bitters and is the brand’s first drink made with brown spirits, the fastest-growing segment in the category. Its 750-mililiter bottles will retail for $19.99.

Crafthouse also partnered with United Airlines to sell 200-mililiter bottles of its Moscow Mule on domestic flights.

 

CRAFT BEER MARKET SLOWING (Source: Bloomberg)

The problem: too many breweries, too many brands, too many styles – NOT enough quality! For the first time, craft brewers are laying off workers e.g. Craft Brew Alliance has halved the number of workers at its Woodinville brewery in Washington state. Many others following suit.

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