Join us as we take a closer look at what’s going to be trending in craft beverages this 2024. Whether you love beer, craft beverages, or just trying new things, we’ll show you the trends like alcohol-free beer, craft beers, CBD-infused drinks, hard seltzers, hard kombucha, and hop water that will be making waves this year.
These are our exciting forecasts for the diverse beer and beverages categories in the industry as we look ahead to 2024
The year 2023 was a year of controversies surrounding different beer companies, especially Anheuser-Busch, following their notorious social media campaign. Their flagship product, Bud Light, quickly recorded a drop in sales following the backlash received from this campaign. Consequently, Modelo Negra became the best-selling beer in the U.S.A., upsetting the trends we’ve observed in the beer industry for years. In this article, we detail what will be trending in beer 2024 predictions.
The beers that made the trends for 2023, including Bud Light and Model beer, are from macro breweries, including Anheuser-Busch and Grupo Modelo. However, we’d be focusing on beer styles coming out of the craft beer industry in 2024.
What are the US Craft trends coming in 2024
Notable personalities in the craft brewery industry have had a thing or two to say about craft beers in the upcoming year. All opinions and predictions are indicators that enable broad retail success for craft brewers all year round. First, the general manager and co-founder of Stormbreaker Brewing Company, with a craft beer-only portfolio, has highlighted the significance of craft beers at festivals and seasonal events.
He mentioned that craft breweries “need to be more creative with what they offer at these events to make them worthwhile“. He also stated that “consumers should expect more experimental variations in beer styles, specifically hop extracts, oils, and other aromatics. As younger consumers gravitate towards pilsner-style beers, more craft breweries will surely expand on this lager and experiment with flavors.”
Also, Brady Barlow, the co-founder of West Sixth Brewing, has predicted taproom location growth will be one factor contributing to craft beer’s expansion in 2024. Lastly, Aaron Reames, the cofounder and president of Bent Water Brewing Co., predicts a diversified portfolio that’ll drive large retail and better innovation. He also noted margin compression and high competition amongst craft breweries will spur better innovations and growth in the coming year.
A particularly notable aspect of the coming year’s beer trends is the non-alcoholic beer sphere, with more consumers getting into the alcohol-free movement. Non-alcohol beers like the Heineken 0.0 and the Budweiser Zero were a trend this year, and there’s no doubt many breweries will try into the market next year. The popularity of these beers comes from the “sober curious” movement of Gen Z and Millenials who want to enjoy the aromas and flavors of a beer without its alcohol content.
Compared to regular beer, the alcohol level of a non-alcoholic one is less than 0.5%. In its manufacturing process, the alcohol is eliminated by vacuum distillation, stopping fermentation, or reverse osmosis.
Top-selling non-alcoholic beers in the US include the following:
Craft beer isn’t going out of trend soon, with the numerous craft producers that pop up every year. These craft lagers are from micro-breweries that produce beer on a small scale, experimenting with new flavors and brewing styles to keep the industry diverse. There are four major categories of craft beer, including sour beers, lagers, hazy/juicy beers, and Rose Beers.
Depending on the craft lager, sour beer, hazy beer, or rose beer you indulge in, you get different alcohol content, flavors, and aromas.
Some of the most popular and best-selling craft beers in the United States include the following.
Beers Containing CBD
With each passing year, cannabidiol-infused drinks gain more popularity, with consumers desiring the “high” from cannabis in a drink. Cannabidiol, also called CBD, is reputed as an extract of cannabis with medicinal properties, which alone does not produce a “high” when consumed. For a “high” to be gotten, you must have Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for its psychoactive properties.
However, THC combined with alcohol can create paranoic effects; hence, the use of CBD only in alcoholic beverages. Currently, CBD-infused drinks are not legal, but the prospect of them becoming legal and marketable gets brighter each year. In fact, enthusiasts believe there’d be a major breakthrough in 2024 with these drinks entering the market.
The International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) of the United Kingdom predicts that hard seltzers will be consumed more than whisky and vodka in 2024. In 2023 alone, these drinks generated more than $17 billion in revenue in the United States alone. In fact, less craft beer was produced this year or before compared to these seltzers. However, there’s an expected 8.51% compound annual growth for the next three years, putting seltzers at the forefront of increasingly important alcoholic beverages.
A truly hard seltzer is preferred to the other drinks for the floral and fruity flavors they possess. They’re quite handy, as they come in cans, and are perfect for parties, mini-gatherings, and solo leisure times. Manufacturers especially record high sales during summer, and they pair perfectly with lots of dishes.
Some of the top-selling seltzers in the country include the following.
Boozy Booch – Hard Kombucha
Kombuchas are beverages made by fermenting sweet tea with yeast or bacteria to produce a non-alcoholic or alcoholic drink. In the United States, alcoholic/hard kombucha is gaining traction, and analysts predict a 42% CAGR over the next five years. The drink is gaining wide acceptance due to its reputed health benefits, as it has much fewer calories than regular beers. However, hard kombucha can reach an alcohol volume of 11%.
Some of the best-selling Kombuchas in the United States include the following.
Beverages that will be trending in 2024 include these ready-to-drink alcoholic drinks, also called alcopops. They’re typically manufactured by preparing and mixing alcoholic beverages with leaves and fruit juices. As of 2022, the market was valued at $2.2 billion and is expected to experience a compound annual growth of 3.83% by 2032.
The ready-to-drink industry is categorized into Spirit-based RTDs, High-Strength Premixes, Malt-based RTDs, and Wine-based RTDs.
Some of the highest-selling RTDs include the following.
Another product that’s predicted to gain better traction in 2024 is the “hop water.” As the name implies, this beverage is made from a mix of water and hops, which can be bottled, canned, or sold by tap.
While you’ll enjoy the different hoppy flavors of the hops used in preparation, there’s zero alcohol content to this beverage. As of 2022, hop water had generated about $5.5 million in sales, experiencing a 142% CAGR from the previous year. As it draws more attention this year and next, we can only predict that the figure will double over the next few years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the future bright for craft breweries?
Yes, craft breweries might have some of the best sales in the coming year and more. With more festivals, competition, and taproom growth, they should make better waves in the USA and beyond.
Is alcohol-free beer expected to gain more popularity in 2024?
Yes, alcohol-free beer is projected to continue its upward trend in 2024, driven by health-conscious consumers and improved flavor profiles in non-alcoholic options.
Are CBD-infused beers becoming more common?
Yes, the use of CBD in beer is expected to gain traction in 2024, as consumers show interest in the potential relaxation and wellness benefits of these products.
How can I stay updated on these craft beer trends in 2024?
To stay informed about craft beer trends in 2024, you can follow industry news, visit craft breweries, attend beer festivals, and engage with online beer communities and publications.
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These are our exciting forecasts for the diverse beer and beverages categories in the industry as we look ahead to 2024. With these trends on the horizon, we anticipate a thriving and dynamic year for the alcoholic beverage industry. Cheers to the exciting times ahead!