5 beers that put flavour innovation on full display

March 17, 2021
4 min read

In the past decade, bar taps and retail shelves have offered beer that expands on some of the traditional styles that most think of when it comes to the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world. Breweries have taken inspiration from desserts, fruit and matched flavour innovation with occasions.

Here, Mintel Analysts spotlight five beers that fully embrace inspiration when it comes to flavour innovation:

Maison PIP- White Beer with passionfruit and timut (France)

This organic white beer from Maison PIP is infused with passionfruit and timut, and is described as fresh and exciting. The flavour is said to “transport” the consumer from Europe to Asia, across North America. The pent-up demand for travel post-lockdown will mean transportative, exotic flavours like this one will resonate with would-be globetrotters.

Nightjar Brew Co – Turbo Tuk Tuk Thai-PA with coconut and lemongrass (UK)

Nightjar Brew Co’s Turbo Tuk Tuk Thai-PA beer is brewed with coconut chips, lemongrass and lime zest, with 20% wheat malt to “create the perfect cloudiness”. The complex tropical flavours come from all-natural ingredients.

Clear Asahi – Spring Cherry Blossom Beer (Japan)

Clear Asahi Spring Cherry Blossom Beer is a seasonal and limited-edition variety and features three types of hops for a “luxurious aroma and refreshing mouthfeel”. The name of the beer is “Sakura no Utage”, which can be translated as “Sakura Banquet”, a reference to cherry blossom viewing parties. Drinkers in Summer 2021 will be keen to feel they are experiencing Japanese culture to accompany their viewing of the Tokyo Olympics.

– Martin Pasco, Global Analyst – Food & Drink

Half Acre Brewing – Stacks of Wheat (US)

This beer was a seasonal collaboration between the brewery Half Acre, the Art Institute of Chicago and The Chicago Brewseum, a museum in development that aims to highlight beer’s place in history. It was created in anticipation of the Art Institute of Chicago’s upcoming exhibition “Monet and Chicago.”

This beer was essentially summertime in a can. It’s a Wheat Beer (American Pale Wheat) and comes with a citrus aroma, making it a perfect light summer beer. Great for backyards, barbeques and everything else you look to a summer beer for. As someone who enjoys a lighter beer, this was a staple in my fridge for awhile. Not to mention, the packaging design is gorgeous.

This beer was released during the height of the pandemic when much of Chicago (including the Art Institute and upcoming Monet exhibit) was shut down. This beer was a great way to still feel connected to the city from the safety of your home. Localism, one of the pillars of Mintel Trend Driver, ‘Surroundings’, is a key motivator for behaviours; more than half of US consumers agree that it’s important for them to feel part of a community, and this beer was a great way to do that during the early months of the pandemic.

– Kaitlin Kamp – Consumer Insights Analyst, US Research – Food and Drink

Humble Forager – Coastal Sunset (US)

Sometimes flavored beer overreach, brewers throw in so many flavors and it’s ungapatchka; too many flavors that the beer would be better if the brewers just focused on one or two flavor profiles. Fortunately, Coastal Sunset avoids this issue and the various flavors largely all work together. According to Mintel research on beer, 23% of beer drinkers in 2020 had a flavored beer in the past three months compared to 17% of beer drinkers in 2018.

While I didn’t get a marshmallow or cream cheese flavor, the beer had a nice creaminess that worked well with the tart cherries and I got hints of both the vanilla and graham cracker. I overall enjoyed the beer though the tartness of the cherries was a bit strong and dominated the other flavors. I’d recommend this to those who enjoy unique flavor experiences as well as fans of sour beers.

– Caleb Bryant, Associate Director – Food & Drink

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