10 Beer Trends Your Restaurant Needs To Know

When properly poured, draft beer can be one of the most profitable drinks in a bar with profit margins of 85 to 90 percent possible, as outlined by AZ Central. And on average, alcohol sales make up around 30% of restaurant sales, showing the massive opportunity restaurants have to make money and keep their customers happy with a robust beer, wine, and spirits menu.

To reach these profits and sales, we take a look at what’s driving the beer industry. Here are the trends, tastes, and pours that are dominating 2017.

beer trends

Tap Into A $250 Billion Industry

Consumer Experimentation

It’s more important than ever to stay abreast of beer trends because the modern drinker hardly seeks to drink the same beer twice. Jeff Browning, master brewer of Brewport brewpub, aptly remarks, “All beer drinkers are polygamists.” The beer menu must be very manifold in character, and once in effect, you can sell a lot of beer and make a lot of money. According to the Alcoholic Beverage DemandTracker, 33% of alcohol drinkers who visit restaurants regularly report that they are more likely to order beer when offered a large selection of beer brands.

Beer Pairings

We’ve all heard of wine pairings, offering a curated pairing menu is a great way for the customer to experience a new type of wine and for the restaurant to upsell. The same methodology can be used for beer. As craft beer has taken the industry by storm, its foothold on fine dining menus is becoming more popularized. And with the advent of culinary beer-focused breweries, beers are being brewed with food pairings in mind. Update your menu and educate your staff to be able to pair each dish with a delicious wine and beer.

Local Craft Beer

The term ‘craft beer’ gets thrown around a lot. Simply stated, craft beer is beer made in a traditional, non-mechanized way by a small brewery. And the idea that people take great pride in drinking locally, or from their local watering hole, is important for restaurants to know. Restaurants need to highlight and educate their staff about the local breweries and market this knowledge to their diners. People feel more connected to their order knowing that they are supporting their local economy and have a cultural tie to the beer they are drinking.

Raise The Bar With These Beers

Brewers have done extensive hop research, so you don’t have to. Here are the trendiest beers in 2017:

beer trends

Sour Beers

Some may react to this trend with a pinched face, but sours are making their way into the mainstream. From fruit-infused sours to dry-hopped sours, tart and hoppy flavors should be on your drink menu.

Chili Beers

Heat up your drink menu with the latest beer to hit shelves, the chili beer. Brewers are adding the fiery warmth of chilis to cool golden styles and light ales. From hot pepper oils to an actual jalapeno chile, spiciness adds a whole new dimension of flavor.

Coffee Beers

Beyond the typical coffee-infused stout, coffee is making its way into a number of different style beers. From light bodied cream ales to IPAs – brewers are creating coffee beer to be served morning, noon, and night.

Juicy IPAs

“Juicy” has been used to describe beers that have flavors of certain tropical flavors and aromas. This includes, tastes and smells of mango, papaya, passionfruit and papaya. Are IPA drinkers really ready to trade in notes of pine for notes of mango? It looks as though they are, and on BeerAdvocate‘s list of the Top 250 beers, 53 of the 80 single or double IPAs can be described as “juicy.”


Over the last few years, cider has made its way to brewers, liquor stores, and even, fine dining menus. With an increasing demand, the hype is here to stay. Market Research Future predicts the cider market to 3.5% during 2016-2022, and of that market, pear ciders are expected to be the highest growing segment.

Craft Pilsners

Pilsners are making a come back. While the reign of IPAs and crazy infused beers aren't over, brewers are reintroducing light and easy into the menu. Not to be confused with the watered down Pilsners – true-to-form German or Czech pils pack a modest punch and are perfect for veteran drinkers.

Session Beer

Lower ABV beers are a growing trend and cater to people that want to drink more for less buzz. This is perfect for restaurants who want to sell more drinks and ensure that there diners are enjoying themselves responsibly and having a more memorable experience.

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