2019 Drink Trends: Forecasts From Around The Beverage Industry

We are a week into 2019 and since we are finally getting over the emotional and physical “holiday hangover”, we figure now is a good time to speak to our friends around the industry about what they expect or hope to see this year. While I personally tend to be a bit anti-trend pieces, I believe in whatever floats your boat and so much is relative around the world, but my resolution is to be more positive this year, so bring on those good good trends. We are going to go with forecast rather than prediction, since we all know like the weather, the industry is always subject to the winds of change.

2019 Drink Trend Forecast

Tara Fougner, Co-Founder of Thirsty Media

Because, who says I can’t talk about myself in 3rd person? I think that we will start to see the divisive culture ease up within the bar industry; let’s be real, we are all too exhausted to deal with Facebook politics and it feels better to actually work together. The Brandy category becomes more of an industry darling and all the rage. Especially grape based Brandy that will then open doors for spirits like Grappa and Pisco. Puerto Rican culture will have a big moment on the global hospitality stage very much in the way that Cuban culture has experienced.

Canned wine will continue to boom and will start to get elevated and expand to more varietals, hence we will see them offered on more menus alongside canned beers …  maybe even wine boilermakers become widespread.  The “health-conscious” movement will continue to pick up speed and become more inclusive, (cough, less preachy), programs that encourage no / low ABV beverage options and we will see body positive group resources in a welcoming way for the community.  Innovation will happen in “smaller” markets outside of the large cities, but unfortunately, those large cities will stay on top of awards lists. Globalization of the bar world will spread with more social media, pop ups and festivals and shall we all become FRANDS!  But enough about me, let’s see what some other folks think.

Josh Mazza, Spring 44

This Aussie hospitality veteran gave it to us in Listicle form and since we can, we will allow it.

    • Low and no alcohol cocktails
    • Low and no sugar cocktails
    • Pop ups
    • Replication of bar concepts
    • Sustainability and no waste programs
    • Mezcal (up to about year 7 on this one)
    • Hotel bars are cool again/bed and beverage concepts
    • Walking blindly into a divisive identity politics driven industry culture

Chuck Rivera Rodriguez, Colectivo Icaro, R&D Director and Managing Partner

I think this year is going to be focus on denomination of cocktails this year.  People are reaching out for more on history of them. I also think we will see a lot of 90’s cocktails coming back.

Johnny Livanos, General Manager & Beverage Director at Ousia

I see a lot of new Greek spirits coming to market and people seem to be a lot more interested in ingredients like Mastiha, Rakomelo, and Tsipouro. These ingredients are no longer only found in small Greek neighborhood joints and being used in creative ways in all types of different cocktails.

Billy Lyons, Lifestyle Journalist

South American made spirits will continue to push their way into the US Market, an ancient beverage will resurface and become very popular, a really popular bar will open where customers will have to make their own drinks, a bunch of bartenders will pick a city, I’m thinking Tulsa, and move there to completely turn the nightlife world upside down.

Curt Carrillo – Traveling Drinks Minstrel

Another listicle, clearly this is on trend.

  • Overproof Rum shots.
  • Dark Web drug use.
  • Water beer.
  • Familiar brands being dissolved.
  • Curating seminars like TEDtalks.

Jente Gees – Bartender in Belgium

The low abv / healthy stuff will keep expanding for sure ( ridiculous overpriced non alcoholic spirits will pop up everywhere 🙄) and growth for smaller spirit families like pisco, grappa, korn, genever,… as people are more interested and informed as ever!

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