Published on November 30, 2023.
Winter Beer Trends 2023
Winter warmers just for your venue!
Consumers are all about getting a banging buzz for their buck. The high ABV trend started in 2022 and predictions show it’s going to swing over into 2024. Beers with a mild price point with a high Alcohol by Volume (ABV), around 7-9%, are going to be hot items on menus. The popularity of IPAs, which typically have higher ABVs, has swung back and forth in recent years; however, for the end of 2023, it seems they’re going to maintain steady sales. Consumers who enjoy IPAs are now looking for the strong and unique flavours of double IPAs that also contain a high ABV, sometimes as high as 9%.
The rise of sour beers has been steady since 2020 and it looks like they’re going to shine in the colder months of 2023/24. The unique, fruity yet tart flavour profile appeals to the palate and is skyrocketing into the mainstream menu. Part of this is due to brewers expanding the selection of sours available. Creating tons of delicious options with varying ABVs, taste notes, and even low-calorie versions. The acidic, sour taste leaves an addictive feel on the palate, tempting the consumer to want another round again and again. Sours also appeal to cocktail and wine lovers since the taste can be fruity, bold, and smooth giving them a different taste and mouthfeel than a typical beer and closer to a cocktail or glass of wine.
Holidays, beer feasts, and limited batches have put seasonal beers on the top of the popularity list. Consumers in 2023 will go wild for their favourite brands’ seasonal selections which will translate into a boost in sales or order requests. Festive brews, pumpkin flavour-infused options, and season-specific fruity or floral flavour notes give breweries many ways to appeal to their customers. In addition to season and holiday-specific flavours and types of drafts, small-batch, limited-edition beers also get drinkers excited to buy. Certain brands have created cult followings around releases that are only available for a limited time throughout the year.
The ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, which together export more than a quarter of the world’s wheat, and a terrible harvest for European hops—German crops dropped around 20 percent, while Czech yields fell more than 40 percent from 2021—will lead breweries looking closer to home for raw materials. Brewers are turning to locally sourced ingredients that are more reliable in uncertain times. Tapping into a region’s unique natural bounty can also deliver market differentiation, which customers are always on the lookout for. Keep an eye on what breweries are doing to make their recipes more local-friendly.
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About the author
Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine.