Factors Shaping Craft Beer Trends in 2023

The Craft Beer Market includes lagers, pilsners, ales, and specialty beers, with products available worldwide, on and off-trade.
Major craft brew distilleries players include ABInBev, Molson Coors, Heineken, and The Boston Beer Company, with countless smaller brands contributing to the trend. The range of offerings is wide, with the global leader – ABInBev – offering 35 award-winning craft or specialty beers across 30 countries1.
Post-pandemic, this dynamic segment is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% over the next five years, with North America dominating but the category growing fastest in Asia-Pacific .
Remarkably, innovation in this market continues despite increased inflation and rising ingredient costs, making development key to retaining a competitive edge. Innovations include new brewing techniques, flavors, and styles but also returns to past favorites.
However, manufacturers must understand the sector’s almost insatiable demands, product directions, and the factors driving them to keep up with and leverage this promising growth opportunity.
Craft Beer Growth Drivers
Consumer and industry trends promoting craft beer include:

  • Consumer curiosity: The younger generation’s continued demand for novelty and new tastes, sensations, and experiences, combined with their openness to different and surprising products, puts pressure on manufacturers to innovate.
  • Health and lifestyle changes: Increasingly health-conscious consumers are looking for purer and more natural ingredients, more eco-friendly and sustainable sourcing and manufacture, lower sugar and calories, less or no alcohol, more plant-based options, and increased functionality.
  • Brewing technology advances: With demand for sensory-enhanced beers growing, brewing technological advances such as more sustainable ultrasound, pulsed electric fields, high-pressure processing, ohmic heating, and thermosonication contribute substantially to enhanced production efficiency, product quality and improved organoleptic properties, eco-friendliness, and healthier ingredients.
  • Increasing inclusivity: Craft brew distilleries’ often niche and tailored nature facilitates acceptance into diverse communities, going where desired users are – the “bodegas and the barbershops”, promoting increased diversity.

With so many reasons for consumers to drink craft beers, let’s look at what manufacturers and consumers can expect in 2023.
Craft Beer Trends 2023
2023 craft brew distilleries predictions include:

  • Novelty beer services, including Kölsch, cask, and beer engines, help customers feel welcome and well-serviced – essential to the craft beer experience.
    For example, serve lagers in dimpled mugs from side-pull faucets for better texture, a personalized customer experience, and premium price points.
    Also, consider milko, šnyt (“schnitt”), or hladinka-style pours – offering denser, more expansive heads of foam, or a traditional Kölsch service – repeatedly pouring and serving from a gravity keg or cask into tiny, 200 ml (6.7 oz) tube-shaped stanges.
    In addition, the English cask ale is back, with sparklers and beer engines.

  • Session beers, including west coast India Pale Ales (IPAs), European lagers, English session ales, red ales, and Kölsch, with the dynamic IPA dominating.
    In addition, low or no-alcohol options make craft beer, especially appealing for on-premise enjoyment, with affordability boosting the attraction.

  • Beverage hybrids continue to gain popularity, particularly among the youth, by combining two traditional beverages. Examples include Coca-Cola’s 100% Brazilian coffee variant, Pura’s rum-infused seltzer, and PepsiCo’s Frutly – a combination of fruit and water.
    Adding appeal to this sub-segment is the promise of lower calories, reduced sugar, and healthier, vitamin and anti-oxidant-rich options.

  • Exciting beer and food pairings are in. With recent lockdowns creating the necessity for invention, pairing creativity and experimentation is reaching new heights.
    The essential rule is to match flavor intensity. Then, mix complementary flavor profiles – sour with sour, sweet with sweet, pair contrasting profiles – bitter and sweet, spicy and cool, salty and sour, or uniquely supplement flavor profiles, such as combining salty and sweet.

In this consumer-empowered climate, every brewery must consider a non-alcoholic offering, whether a low or non-alcoholic beer, a hybrid, or a functional beverage.
Rely on Advanced Biotech for Pure and Unique Flavor Profiles
Advanced Biotech’s extensive collection of pure, natural, plant-based, and EU-certified flavor and aroma ingredients provide the ideal foundation for innovative forays into craft beers and hybrid beverages.
Please contact us today to discuss and place your craft brew order.

1 https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2019/03/05/AB-InBev-on-craft-and-specialty-beer-The-High-End-is-our-growth-engine
2 https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/craft-beer-market