Get on board beverages for 2021

January 7, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

BWS and Dan Murphy’s specialists share their predictions for what we will be filling our glasses with in 2021.

All ale the innovation: Food inspired beer & sours

Hazy beer – beers with juicy aromas and flavours with a hazy appearance – and alcoholic ginger beer became increasingly popular in the second half of 2020, and the trend will dominate 2021 according to Endeavour Group’s Beer Merchandise Manager, Jarrod Holt (Endeavour Group is the parent company of BWS and Dan Murphy’s). 

“Hazy and ginger beers are here to stay. Customers – even those who don’t traditionally drink beers – are loving these styles because they are full of flavour and low on bitterness,” Holt said, explaining their appeal.

Beer lovers have also started to discover sour beers, which – just as the name implies – are tart in flavour as a result of a brewing method in which wild yeast strains are added to the brew.

“We expect 2021 to be huge for sour beers, and I think we will be seeing lots of innovation in this space, with craft brewers using different ingredients as they come in and out of season to give their beers a point of difference, like lemon myrtle and kakadu plum,” he explained. 

Young Henry's Guava

Another beer trend that’s set to take off is food-inspired beers. “Expect to see beers like bread beers, black forest or chocolate stouts on our shelves,” Holt added. 

When it comes to cider, Holt says that in 2021 it’s all about experimenting with flavours and colours, with Apple Crumble Cider and Rosé Cider already starting to become popular among customers. 

Seltzers & craft spirits

The rise in craft spirits, like gin and rum, continues.

Sales of Australian whisky doubled last year at Dan Murphy’s and accordingly, the drinks retailer has doubled its range to meet the increase in demand. Think Tasmania’s award-winning Lark Distillery, The Gospel and Melbourne’s Starward.

“Customers have started to discover that Australian whisky can compete on the world stage when it comes to flavour and complexity,” Jenkins explained. 

Australian Whisky at Dan Murphy's

Dan Murphy’s has one of the biggest gin ranges in Australia – with more than 300 different products to choose from – and in 2021, Jenkins believes this in-demand spirit will continue to be a drawcard for the year ahead, and beyond. 

Rum has been a long-time favourite among Aussies, and over the last few years has certainly become more and more refined and attracting a new wave of consumers. 

“Spiced rum and rums with great fruit flavours are very on-trend at the moment, and distillers are exploring the entire flavour spectrum as they craft the new age of rum,” he added. 

Tequila and Mezcal have become increasingly popular, and are set to boom in 2021. 

“Tequila has become premiumised and we’ve seen tequila bars pop up across the country. Consumers have discovered that tequila and Mezcal are both great for sipping or to create cocktails with,” he explained. 

Picture by Christian Gilles

Seltzers started to trend in Australia last year, with US cult brand White Claw temporarily selling out across the country after just three weeks on shelves. Seltzers are in essence alcohol-infused carbonated water with natural fruit flavours, and are low in calories and sugar.

“We expect to see more Australian producers jumping on the seltzers trend, and we will be seeing a greater variation of fruit flavours,”  said Adam Jenkins, Endeavour’s Merchandise Manager Spirits, Premix & Complimentary Categories.

Wine: Rosé continues to grow and Australians continue to be curious about new varietals

The Rosé renaissance still reigns supreme – it has been the fastest growing wine category in the last five years, and has also resulted in a demand increase in pink sparkling wines. 

“Customers realise that there are so many different styles of Rosé, and they’re enjoying exploring them all! In particular we are seeing many customers enjoying Rosé made with Pinot Noir grapes in a dry, French Rosé  style,” said Endeavour Group Head of Fine Wine Andrew Shedden (pictured above).

Customers are also moving to drinking wines beyond Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz.

“Customers are getting increasingly curious and trying emerging varieties with Fiano taking the lead in the biggest ‘new’ white vine variety while Grenache and Tempranillo are becoming new favourites for red wine lovers,” he said.

“From an imported perspective, we’re really starting to see the demand for wines from emerging regions, particularly Italy like wines from Pecorini – yes, like the cheese, it’s a region in Italy and this minerally white wine goes really well with the namesake cheese – Barbera, Cavi and Etna Rosso.”

Across all categories, the demand for non-alcoholic and lower alcohol products has boomed during 2020 and is set to continue in 2021.

“We’ve never had such a wide range of non-alcoholic and lower alcohol drinks. You can find anything from craft beer, Rosé and bubbles to craft gin and bourbon without any alcohol in it – and the quality is so high, you’ll barely be able to tell the difference,” Shedden said.

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