5 Craft Beers Millennials Are Loving

Posted on October 3rd, 2018 by Breck Hapner

Craft beers have become increasingly popular over the past decade. In 2010, craft beer accounted for just 5 percent of the beer market. By 2014, that figure grew to 11 percent, and that upward trend is likely to continue due in large part to the popularity of craft beers among millennials.

Millennials – broadly defined as those born between the 1980s and early 2000s – represent a sizeable portion of the beer market, and many of them prefer craft beers rather than the “big name” mass-produced beers. But why do they gravitate toward craft beers, and which ones are they loving right now? 

A Look At The Millennial Mindset

According to a recent study, millennials account for 57 percent of weekly craft beer drinkers. Why do they make up the majority of craft beer consumers? The Brewers Association, an organization whose goal is to promote and protect American craft brewers and beers, recently examined the millennial mindset and noted that:

  • The concept of “locally made” products is important to millennials.

  • They prefer value and quality over lower cost.

  • They are adventurous consumers – they buy beers for which they have never seen an advertisement and they enjoy trying new and different beers.

  • They prefer craft beer for several reasons, including better quality and more variety.

There is an ever-growing number of craft beers, meaning that millennials have hundreds of options to suit their individual tastes – and millennials value individuality. While the availability of these beers varies by state and even city, there are several stand-outs that the millennial market is enjoying right now.

1. Adelbert’s Brewery’s Hibiscus Saison

Adelbert’s is a microbrewery in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 2011 and they produce a wide range of beer styles. The Hibiscus Saison is one of their most popular at the moment. It is brewed with hibiscus flowers and dry hopped with Citra, giving it a tart and tropical flavor. Its bright pink color inspired the brewers to donate a percentage of the beer’s proceeds to the Breast Cancer Resource Center, so consumers can sip while knowing their money is going to a good cause.

2. The Alchemist’s Heady Topper

The Alchemist is a family-run brewery located in Stowe and Waterbury, Vermont. Heady Topper is one of the brewery’s most popular beers – so popular, in fact, that a family once took their private jet from South Africa just to get their hands on a few bottles. This double IPA is hoppy and has notes of oranges, pine and spice.

3. Bottle Logic’s Fundamental Observation

Bottle Logic is located in Anaheim, California, and its brewers’ motto is that “nothing is more thrilling than a mind-blowing beer.” Enter Darkstar November, a limited release imperial stout. According to the brewers, it is a barrel aged stout that is “shrouded in mystery” – which only adds to its appeal.

4. Founders Brewing Co.’s CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and founded just over 20 years ago, Founders Brewing Co. operates on a simple philosophy: “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few.” With a mantra like that, it’s no wonder that their beers are popular with millennials – particularly the Canadian Breakfast Stout, or CBS. With an 11.7 percent ABV, the beer came to life when the brewers found some bourbon barrels that had previously been used for maple syrup. The result is a stout that has notes of maple syrup, coffee and chocolate. 

5. Deschutes’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Deschutes is a family-and employee-owned brewery located in Bend, Oregon. They produce award-winning year-round, seasonal and reserve craft beers that have developed an impressive following. Mirror Pond Pale Ale is one of their most popular brews. This single-hop pale ale was first brewed in 1988 – making the beer itself a millennial. It is crisp and smooth and is made with 100 percent Cascade hops.

The Future Of Craft Beers

This sampling of craft beers that millennials are currently sipping is just a small representation of a growing trend. As the youngest millennials will be turning 21 over the next few years, the popularity of craft beers is almost guaranteed to continue rising. And smaller appears to be better: while larger craft breweries have experienced a slump in sales, smaller microbreweries are thriving – and the millennial focus on quality, individuality and supporting local businesses is behind that success.

What’s On Tap For You?

Offering a selection of craft beers – and rotating them periodically – at your bar or restaurant could bring in new customers and boost sales. And DineEngine® can help you ensure those customers have the best possible experience with enhanced online ordering for independent restaurants and loyalty & rewards integration for your restaurant. We design, develop, and deploy engaging in-store experiences that maximize your checkout and ROI. Tell us about your needs and we’ll come up with a strategy specifically tailored to your business.