If you look at just about any data source and analyze their beverage trends, there's one glaring fact you'll see in just about every single one of them: the non-alcoholic beverage market is growing at record pace.
According to Datassential’s latest Non-Alcholic Beverage Keynote, non-alcoholic beverage sales have risen in 25 percent of all operations because of increasing consumer interest. Other studies predict this segment will grow by nearly six percent over the next 10 years, and when you factor out some of the retail sales these figures include, the trends in bars and restaurants look even stronger.
But where does the N/A movement come from specifically? For starters, this includes things like coffee, tea, flavored waters, smoothies, juices, and slushies -- basically all the things you might find in a convenience store or coffee shop. The reality, though, is the N/A movement is comprised of so much more, including dramatic growth in the non- or low-alcohol beer movement.
N/A beer is no longer your grandfather's N/A beer.
If you think your only options are some of the flavorless stalwarts of days gone by, you're in for a big surprise when you find out what some of the options are today in terms of N/A beer. Believe it or not, N/A beer has gone craft.
The reasons are simple. Our grandfathers' drinking habits are being replaced by generations that are looking to consume less alcohol, not more. This translates to 84 percent of people who drink are looking to drink less for reasons that range from triathlon training to religious preferences.
If you don't believe demographical evidence, though, how about profits?
Consider this mind-blowing fact: Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the pillars of the global beer industry, has recently launched N/A versions of both Budweiser and Corona. That's significant enough, but what about their goal that 20 percent of their entire business will be alcohol-free beer by 2025?!
Even more impressive is the fact that craft breweries across the nation are now making craft N/A offerings. From stouts and porters to crisp IPAs, consumers who prefer non-alcoholic suds can now enjoy the same great flavor profiles as those who don't, and this trend is only going to grow.
In order to get the most flavor out of your beer, it needs to be served in the proper glass.
By its own nature, whether or not it contains alcohol or not, different styles of beer require different conditions to achieve maximum enjoyability. As low-alcohol beer becomes craftier, so too is the glassware in which those beers are consumed. A pint glass just won't cut it anymore. Those who prefer to decrease their alcohol intake, or those who were never ones to imbibe in the first place, just might ask for another pour if the entire consumption experience -- delivered by the right glass -- is pleasant and satisfying.
Glassware features can include etchings that create a steady stream of bubbles to replenish the head and create aromas, as well as a "bowl and chimney" shape that will capture them and funnel them to the nose. The fact is, the right glass will have an enormous impact on how much you enjoy your beer, whether it has alcohol or not.