Sweet, Sour and Fruity: Millennials Are More Likely to Order This Type of Craft Beer Than Any Other
Fruit-flavored brews are taking off, especially among the age 21-34 crowd, according to research by Mintel.
Stick + Stone
Fruit-flavored beers have taken off around the world, according to research by Mintel, and more pizzerias are starting to pair these sweet-tasting signature brews with pizza.
As Mintel’s Jonny Forsyth wrote in a recent report titled, “In Flavour: Fruit Beer,” about one in 10 global beer launches over the past five years have contained fruit flavors, typically imparted by using “from concentrate” juice, fruit flavor extracts and fruit peel. Many of these new brews have been radlers (a 50/50 mix of beer and fruit juice or lemonade) and shandies (which mix beer with soft drinks).
Learn how pizzeria operators are pairing their pizzas with fruit-infused IPAs and lip-puckering sours here.
As an example, pizza operations like Vesuvio’s Pizzeria & Ristorante in Drums, Pennsylvania, and Jigsy’s Old Forge Pizza in Enola, Pennsylvania, promote Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy to great success. Meanwhile, Red Wagon Pizza Company in Minneapolis, locally famous for its eclectic variety of craft beers and hard sodas, has been known to pour the German-made Stiegl Radler Grapefruit over ice and top it off with a splash of Aperol to reduce the sweetness.
Stick + Stone Pizza in Richland, Washington, pairs its Neapolitan pies with fruity pale ales and shandies. Owner Michael Miller told PMQ that the Elysian Brewing Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale makes a dandy pairing with his pizzeria’s vegetarian pie. And their Margherita pizza marries deliciously with 10 Barrel Brewing Swill, which boasts a lemon zest flavor that complements the pizza’s fresh basil. Miller notes that a veggie pizza’s “robust flavors, with peppers and onions, intertwine with the light-drinking, fruity pale ale in a perfect braid of flavor.”
All in all, the Mintel study shows, 16% of all North American beer launches in the first half of 2017 were fruit-flavored, which is twice as many as we saw in 2014. Mintel found that consumers between the ages of 21 and 34 “are significantly more likely to say they would purchase fruit-flavored beer over non-fruit-flavored and plain beer.” These beers also “benefit from the ‘health halo’ of using fruit,” Forsyth notes, “with brands increasingly showcasing the fresh fruit ingredients visually” in their packaging.
Big brewers like Anheuser-Busch, Heineken and Carlsberg have jumped on-board the fruity-beer express in an effort to counteract their weak sales. But it’s the smaller craft brewers that have led the charge, experimenting with sours, cherry beers and saisons.
The category’s so popular that Men’s Journal published its list of “The 15 Best Fruit Beers,” highlighting brands such as Ballast Point Brewing’s Grapefruit Sculpin; the Liliko’i Kepolo from Avery Brewing featuring passion fruit; and New Glarus Brewing’s Wisconsin Belgian Red, which uses a pound of cherries in every bottle.
Still, the trend may not last forever—it’s already declining in Europe, Mintel notes. But, for the time being, “this could be a very lucrative few years for brands that time their entry well,” Forsyth writes. “It is also a great entry point for consumers who might not otherwise drink beer.”