2015 was a momentous year for wine, beer and spirits. And that means we’re more excited than ever for 2016. But while there were some great occurrences in 2015, there were also trends we’d prefer stay behind. Here’s what we’re most excited for in the year to come, along with trends that hopefully will disappear when the clock strikes midnight.
What We’re Most Excited For
Wine’s Continued Journey Towards Populism
In 2015, many more people became comfortable with wine. While elitism and snobbery still surround one of the world’s oldest beverages, more people feel empowered to drink what they like, and ask questions without fear of looking stupid. As a result, wine sales in the U.S. continue to soar, and we expect more growth is 2016.
Craft Beer Embracing All Consumers
Toward the end of this year, craft beer fully admitted it had a race problem, which was a step in the right direction. If craft beer makers are to truly see the tremendous growth they have hypothesized, brewers need to focus on more than just white consumers, and that means making the creation and consumption of beer more accessible to all groups of people.
Sipping Tequilas Continue To Rise In Popularity
With more of us becoming bourbon disciples, it’s only natural that many will look to what’s next and aged tequilas are perfectly situated to be just that. Though at the moment many of these aged tequilas are pricey, the craft movement is bound to take hold here as well. Be on the lookout.
Beaujolais Nouveau Will Not Be The Only Beaujolais Consumers Know
While Beaujolais Nouveau was a fun trend in the ‘80s and ‘90s, in recent years consumers have continued to bang the drum for true Beaujolais, a wine from Burgundy with many of the same delicious pleasures of a Burgundian Pinot for an affordable price. And now more consumers across the country will have access to good Beaujolais, given the simple fact that Georges Duboeuf, the original creator of the Nouveau trend, has decided to focus on importing and distributing his more serious Cru Beaujolais, bringing delicious Gamay to all.
More Towns Across The Country Will Open Great Brewpubs
The most sustainable business model in craft beer isn’t creating a brand that will one day be sold for millions – despite all the blockbuster purchases last year, that occurrence is actually a rarity – but is instead modest brewpubs with great food, where all of the beer is made and consumed on site. These pubs bring local craft beer to towns across the country that desperately need it, providing solid income for their owners in the process.
Trends We’d Prefer Stay In 2015
Rosé’s popularity reached a fever-pitch this past summer, and the trend doesn’t show signs of stopping, especially with many across the country still not having access to the good stuff people in major cities in the Northeast and on the West Coast have been cheering about. But while we welcome rosé’s continued ascent, the trend of Brosé, or rosé for a man, needs to die a quick death. Rosé is for everyone, there is no need to create separate terminology for it when a man drinks it, simply because it’s pink. If you don’t feel comfortable enough in your own skin to be drinking rosé, then by all means save more for us.
Everyone Believing Their Craft Brewery Could Make Millions
The rise of craft beer has seen more people than ever before entering the industry. But those who believe their entrance will result in millions are sorely mistaken. For the most part, brewing beer and selling it is hard work that results in a nice middle-class lifestyle. Embracing this fact will deter some from entering the industry, but those who are passionate about the beer will remain, and in the end, that’s good for everyone.
Flavored “Shooting” Liquors
We’ve all had our fun with fireball, but let’s give flavored and spicy shots a rest. All these flavorings do is mask the actual quality of the spirit, plus leave you with a massive hangover. Besides, has anyone else noticed they all basically taste the same?
Deceptive Whisky Labeling
Whisky has continued to explode in popularity, and that means everyone wants in on the action. But getting in on the action does not mean making whisky at a mass market distillery – perhaps, say, a distillery in Indiana – and then labeling the whisky as craft and claiming it’s made some place else. Let’s be honest in our whisky labeling this year–consumers will have more respect for it.
Not only are these diet alcohols not good, they’re also pretty offensive. Marketed towards women and purposefully helping to reenforce body-image issues – we’re looking at you, Skinny Girl – these products have no place in anyone’s good time. We drink to relax, have fun and connect with others. There are many other ways to drink healthy, such as having a Gin and Tonic instead of that daiquiri or simply have only one or two instead of three or four. Don’t deprive yourself of flavor for these ridiculous products.