What will be hot in beer and cider this Christmas?
Phil Mellows has the latest on what retailers should stock up on for Christmas
The year after the year they cancelled Christmas, it’s likely the drinks world will never be quite the same again, as pandemic lockdowns closed pubs and changed drinking habits.
As the nights draw in, beer drinkers traditionally turn to the dark side, and those richer brews lend themselves well to the Christmas table and the slow, languid hours that follow. They might range from strong bottle-conditioned ales such as Fuller’s Vintage to the many stouts and porters now being produced by independent brewers.
BRITISH CRAFT LAGER
Thinking about the larger formats that are likely to be in high demand for Christmas parties, 5-litre mini-casks and kegs have been successful formats in the pandemic.
Ciders made from a single apple variety are growing in popularity and bring something celebratory to the table, especially when served in a Champagne glass. Thatchers Katy, now in its 25th year, has been around longer than most and seen sales grow in value bv 20% over the past 12 months.
Word is that more Brits are discovering French ciders, and Normandy’s Sassy is making progress here with a listing in Majestic.
Mulled cider has been massive in the on-trade in recent winters, with cauldrons at the end of the bar emitting a spicy seasonal steam and proving irresistible to cold Christmas shoppers. And wholesaler LWC has seen that translate into ready-mixed, bag-in-box mulled ciders for the off-trade.
LOW AND NO-ALCOHOL
Don’t forget low and no-alcohol beers and ciders. Many drinkers have been discovering their improved quality and variety, and in the run-up to Christmas wholesaler LWC expects to see Generation Zs, along with designated drivers, opting to go low.