The World of Tasty Beverages for 2021
Welcome back, and if you’re reading this, I hope it means you’ve made it through 2020 in one piece! In this issue I’m going to run through some thoughts on what I think will become big in the world of tasty beverages for 2021. One thing’s for certain, we’ve got a few painful months ahead of us before we can start to calm down and return to some semblance of normality - whatever that looks like in the future.
Firstly, there’ll be more nolo, or 0% or low alcohol drinks in 2021. Two of my favourite beers, from Cloudwater and The Kernel if you’re asking, are both table beers, (considered beers under 3.5%), and the number of great beers, ciders and lagers that will come in under this abv will grow. It’s not just limited to beers. Hard seltzer’s and soda’s, faux gins and vermouths are all improving vastly in terms of taste, mainly because they use the same processes, the same botanicals, and the same adjuncts that their boozier namesakes use.
Secondly, we’ll see more emphasis on and engagement with ethical suppliers and those who understand the need for sustainable business practises. The drinks industry is a huge user of water and energy, so it’s only right to ask what’s being done to minimise the impact of that consumption on the environment. It’s also a significant employer, so listen out for those businesses who don’t treat their colleagues with dignity, fairness and respect - it happens, but I’m proud to say our little corner of this industry calls this out and adjusts its purchasing accordingly. We’re also used to traceability in our food industry, so it’s not going to be long before we’re considering the traceability of the ingredients that go into our beverage, or how far they’ve travelled from farm to producer.
Thirdly, ready to drink cocktails, or “just add ice” kits will begin to proliferate further into the market. We still want a bit of theatre at home, a little pizazz, and are willing to spend a little bit more on things we can’t readily do ourselves at home. To this end, look out for more cocktail kits, where the spirits, mixers, all the dried fruit and garnishes are laid out for you to simply shake or pour over ice. I think we’ll also begin to see more canned cocktails come through into the market, we’ve already seen Macclesfield’s The Forest Distillery bring out a couple of G&T’s in cans, so expect plenty more distilleries do this, partially to try and capture revenues lost through closed pubs and bars.
Lastly, those of you who know me have listened to me blather on about how rum and tequila will be the next big thing. I finally think this is the year when we start to see this come to fruition. Rum producers are beginning to bring aged versions of their blends, so expect to see more complex drinks that will tempt the palates of experienced whiskey drinkers, and more youthful brands are targeting younger demographics with marketing and flavour profiles more suited to their wants.
Whatever happens in the world of tasty beverages, it’ll only be worth it if our friends and family are here to share them with us, so I’ll take off my futurologist’s hat off by saying please look after yourself, and those around you. Until next time.
Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy and be kind.
The Beer Emporium