The Millennial Generation, also known as Gen Y, is infamous for being made out of what many may call picky eaters. We are, as a whole, a lot more concerned about where our food came from, how it was grown, and how it’s prepared than generations before us. Fast food purchases are at an all-time low among Millennials. On the other hand, Millennials are shopping at Trader Joe’s in droves, queuing up for burritos at organic food trucks, and also going so far as to start trends like eating locally grown produce.
Considering how much we care about the quality of our food, it shouldn’t shock anyone that we prefer our beers the same way. Gone are the assumptions that mass-produced beers like Budweiser are the be-all and end-all of fizzy alcoholic beverages. Gone are the days when people would assume that all beer tastes the same. Today, craft beer brewed in small batches, ideally made with a heavy emphasis on flavor, is where it’s at.
Truth be told, it wasn’t too long ago when most bars would have a maximum of six different beers available to those who wanted to have a drink. It wasn’t too long ago that many people, mostly due to the fact that they weren’t really told that there were alternative beers out there, believed that all beer tasted the same. Though it took a while for the craft beer trend to really take flight, the trend is here, and it’s most likely here to stay.
In many ways, the craft beer trend was bound to happen, and much of it has to do with the new attitude that Millennials have towards food. While Millennials love casual dining, they’re still going to insist on quality. They also dislike the idea of the “old, stuffy” way of doing things, since they often feel like it is pretentious and unnecessary.
Beer is as casual an alcoholic drink as you can get, and that means it was going to get picked up as the common favorite pick among Millennials sooner or later. Boxed wine and screwcap wine come in at a close second – and that really only illustrates how much Millennials love a casual, rebellious flair to their food and drink.
The main selling point of craft beer is the fact that individual attention is paid to each batch. Each batch is meticulously made to impart a unique flavor to the drinker. While Coors, Bud, and Miller might often be mistaken for one another because of how similar they taste, many craft beers have an unmistakable flavor all their own. This makes both the art of brewing beer and the actual craft beer itself incredibly appealing to millennials.
Many Millennials view classic wine tastings as pretentious, often citing studies that show that sommeliers can’t really tell much of a difference between highly rated wine and low rated wine without being told which is which. Simply put, it’s very hard to imagine a person mistaking a lambic for an IPA, but most of us won’t be able to distinguish the flavor difference between a cabernet and a merlot. So, most people will see it as a more “real” experience.
There are very few signs of a generational love of a product that are as obvious as watching the laws of supply and demand happen. Throughout the world, microbreweries and craft beer clubs have been opening their doors. Gastropubs are now the hip places to go for food and drink. In fact, craft beers have become so popular that the general prices of beer and beer ingredients have been slowly increasing over the past couple of years. As the demand for craft beer continues to expand, Millennials will continue to get more creative with beer flavors, more interested in brewing their own beer, and more in love with craft beer than ever before – and that’s a wonderful thing!
By: Ossiana Tepfenhart