The halls were buzzing (literally and figuratively) at last week's Great American Beer Festival. The Interact Brands crew sipped away in the name of market research and bring you our top 4 trends!
Non-alcholic continues to rise. Hoplark, Ceria Brewing Company, Grüvi, RationAle Brewing, Athletic Brewing Co. were all present, each with different approaches. Some use juices for full bodied flavors, others rely solely on hops for the craft experience, while others use traditional brewing practices and then remove the alcohol. Each results in a different drinking experience and it'll be interesting to see if one approach wins out in the long run.
Flavor, flavor, flavor. Carrot Elderflower Saison, Chai Ipa, Thai Tripel, Strawberry Rhubarb Sour, Jalapeno Mexican Lager, and far too many riffs on a Pumpkin Spice Latte IPA were at the show. Craft beer has always been known for its inventive and experimental spirit, but the influence of foodies seems to be taking things to a new and exciting height. Spice Trade Brewery & Kitchen was one of the brands whose entire portfolio of beers focused on the flavor frontier. We're curious to see what takes off as the new "it" flavor profile in 2023.
Marketing Madness. The beer space is a copywriters wet dream and a trademark attorneys nightmare, and undoubtedly has some of the best names in all of CPG. Here are just a few of our favorites: "Can I Have A Lime?", "Snake Cake", "Bendy Parts", "Slippery When Wet", and "Juicifer IPA". Outside of just names, a special shoutout to Denver Beer Co. for their Mail A Free Beer campaign in which you could take a postcard and mail it to someone of legal drinking age which would then enable them to purchase a free beer!
Sustainability & Representation. We saw more BIPOC-owned breweries this year than we have in years past, with Cerveceria Colorado as a standout in our Colorado backyard. And while most booths are designed with simple banners, those that had real estate took the time to talk about their sustainability efforts, particularly around using Solar Power, reclaimed CO2 or spent grain programs.
Thanks for reading and cheers til next year's GABF festival!