Now that it’s summer we’ve been busting out our coolers, polishing our patio barware, and just generally getting really excited about drinking outside. Whole Foods seems to be thinking along these same lines, as they just released their 2019 alcohol trend report. It’s not entirely summer-focused, but rather looks for what will be hot throughout the year. So, what do Whole Foods Master Sommelier Devon Broglie and industry expert Doug Bell think will be the next big thing in booze? Beer, low-cal beer, sake, and Oregon Pinot Noir.
As far as we’re concerned IPAs have been all about innovation in recent years (just look at how hazy east coast style IPAs managed to completely take over from those piney, resinous west coast IPAs), but the experts say that styles like brut IPAs (bone-dry beers with no extra sugar) and milkshake IPAs (beers brewed with lactose, fruit, spices, nd sugar) will come to dominate the scene in 2019. Of course both of these styles have been around for awhile, but it takes time for trends to go from taproom to grocery store, so we’ll cut the chain some slack.
Great to see @RascalsBrewing new brewer smashing it with some tweaked batches of their best-loved recipes. This Milkshake IPA is super balanced and doesn't let the lactose & fruit overwhelm the great hop backbone https://t.co/h18UF39HmP pic.twitter.com/nwBfKp3VvC
— HonestBrew (@HonestBrew) June 25, 2019
As fitness and wellness grow in popularity as a branding tool, it looks like alcohol companies are trying to get in on the game. Look for low-cal beer options that are actually tasty, wines like FitVine and Cense that put the focus on low-sugar vino, and more boozy seltzer options.
Sake has been enjoyed since at least 500 BC, and it looks like Americans are finally catching on to this fermented rice spirit. According to Whole Foods, “The growing popularity of ramen, yakitori, soba, udon and izakaya restaurants have given more consumers the opportunity to experiment with the popular Japanese beverage.”
Oregon Pinot Noir
Last but not least, Whole Foods says that Oregon Pinot Noir is the next hot vino. Most serious wine drinkers have known that Oregon is one of the best places to get Pinot Noir for years now, but Whole Foods says that the numbers back it up, too – Oregon wine sales grew 16 percent last year, compared to just 3 percent for the industry overall.
Whether or not you think these trends are actually groundbreakingly new or are just finally getting the recoginition they deserve, it seems like we’ve got a lot of exploration to do the next time we hit up the liquor store.