Strange Brew: Novel Flavorings for Beer

Worldwide, Mintel has observed manufacturers working to make beer appeal more to non-beer drinkers. Adding new and unconventional flavors to traditional brews, many brands have expanded their product lines to draw in a new and varied customer base.

A substantial number of beer manufacturers are focused on women as a vast untapped market, as women are not the most typical beer drinkers. For example, in the United Kingdom, around two-thirds of females claim that they never drink beer, while in the United States only 34% of women over 21 say that they drink any kind of beer. To change this, beer companies have developed new products with sweeter, fruitier and lighter flavors, bringing the taste of the beer closer to a flavored alcoholic beverage. Common fruit flavors recently added to beer include lemon, raspberry, pomegranate, apple, grapefruit and peach.

In Poland, Carlsberg has innovated a fruity beer under the Karmi brand—Malinowa Pasja Raspberry Flavoured Beer. The product consists of dark beer with raspberry syrup, imparting both caramel and raspberry notes. The beer is aimed at female consumers with its appealing, dessertlike flavors.

Capitalizing on the enjoyable heat of summer, Warsteiner Brauerei has launched Premium Verum Lemon Shandy. The refreshing brew consists of 60% beer and 40% natural lemon juice; it is also available with orange juice or with cola.

In Austria, Gösser Brauerei has released Gösser Natur Radler—beer with 100% natural lemon juice. Gösser Brauereiis claims its beer is the only one with natural lemon juice (though the Warsteiner launch seems to dispute this) and is free from artificial additives. These claims make the product appeal to consumers looking for a sweeter, lighter beer and those seeking out natural products.

Beyond Fruit: Cutting-Edge Flavors

In addition to seeking out the females in the crowd, some brands have attempted to branch out to a new audience with quirky, untraditional flavors. Adding new personality to their brands and standing out from the crowd, manufacturers have deployed more elaborate flavors in the second quarter of this year, relying not only on fruit flavors but also on interesting ingredients such as chilli pepper, maple syrup and tequila. Mintel has seen some of these distinctive ingredients in the past, but many new ones appeared during this period, including wormwood, goji berries, dragonfruit and schisandra.

In the second quarter of this year, New Belgium Brewing brought out New Belgium Springboard Ale, a seasonal spring ale, in the United States. The ale has been brewed with wormwood, goji berries and schisandra. Meanwhile, in Finland, Pierhead Purchasing Ltd. has released New Cave Creek’s Chilli Beer, which contains an actual chilli pepper in the bottle of beer.

Going Natural

Finally, beer manufacturers sought out consumers attempting to live a healthy, natural lifestyle by increasing their use of organic ingredients and preservative-free blends. Many popular beer brands are accused of containing too many chemicals, something many consumers are wary of these days. To appeal to these natural-loving consumers, many beer manufacturers have released products containing organic ingredients and no preservatives. These natural beers also introduced more interesting recipes and flavors to the market, including a beer made from rice and another made from hemp. Flavors such as chocolate and coffee were also seen in a range of organic beers.

In the United Kingdom, Atlantic Brewery has released Organic Ale Range. Atlantic Brewery now offers a range of organic ales comprising Blue, a rich dark ale which blends smokiness with a smooth chocolate and coffee palate; Red, a classic full-bodied Celtic ale with well rounded hops and a coppery hue; and Gold, a refreshing summer ale subtly spiced with ginger. All the ales in this line are non-filtered and suitable for vegans.

In an attempt to extend their brands’ appeal beyond just traditional beer drinkers, manufacturers will have to continue innovating products with creative new flavors and grounded health claims. These actions will likely attract more women, adventurous flavor seekers and health nuts to the beer market, potentially causing an increase in beer sales over time.

The Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. For additional information regarding GNPD, visit or call Mintel International at 1-312-932-0600.

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