Millennials Give Mainstream Beer the Boot

Big breweries are headed for trouble as Millennials start to move from popular beers like Budweiser and Miller Light to wines, spirits and craft beers. MorganStanley discovered that 24% of consumers plan on decreasing spending on beer in 2015. In order to keep up with the shifting taste, restaurants need to revamp their beverage menus to make up for the hurting macro-brew industry. Not sure where to start? Have no fear, Uncorkd is here to help.

The declining sales of macro-brews has been blamed on a few factors. The first is because of the declining economy and the impact it has had on the blue-collar worker, who is the top drinker of large, domestic brand brews. Companies are crossing their fingers that rising sales will come with the improving economy. Tastes are also shifting, primarily with Millennials, who are now willing to pay more for an eccentric experience. They look for restaurants and bars that embrace unique trends, like using local ingredients or creating drinks that reflect the season. They expect more from a drink than the bland taste that mass-produced beer has to offer. Lastly, wine and cocktails are less maintenance. Unlike beer, they can be served on ice or at room temperature.

To keep consumers happy, restaurants should expand their selection of specialty cocktails and craft beers. Not only will it impress the 72.6% of Millennials who claim that beer is not their preferred beverage, but it will bring in the money. Providing an in-depth description of the beverage can assist customers in making a selection other than the domestic beers they have grown bored of. Millennials feel special when they discover a new drink that they can share with their friends, which means free marketing for your establishment.

We’re not suggesting that you completely remove all classic beers from your menu, but instead push those that offer a unique flavor profile. Have a featured list that directs customers to the specialties of your restaurant or bar. Consider having a happy hour of discounted drinks so that your guests have an opportunity to try new items without feeling guilty if they dislike the drink. Introducing beer or wine flights can be a way to draw people through your doors who aren’t positive about what they like just yet.

The good news is, not all beer sales are slacking. Imported beers, especially those from Mexico, have increased in popularity. Corona, for example, has raised 5% from 2014 to 2015. It is in a restaurant’s best interest to offer a variety of domestic AND imported beers to still please the regular beer drinker while mixing in some more exotic selections. Rotating the on-tap beers between classic domestic, imported, and craft beers targets all audiences and encourages people to try a new beer that moves them out of their comfort zone.