Flavored Beers Go Global

Popularity of flavored beers rises in the UK and India

You’ve heard about flavored vodkas, but now flavored beers are taking the world by storm. The Guardian reports that sales of flavored beers have grown by 80 percent in the past year, according to market research group AC Nielsen, and this sector will likely expand further over the next few years.

In order to meet consumer demand, Tesco, a British supermarket, now stocks 16 flavored beers, quadruple what it stocked two years ago. Tesco specialist beer buyer Chiara Nesblitt told the Guardian, "The boom for flavored beer has its roots in both the recent ale and cider revivals. Over the last five or so years we have seen British drinking tastes diversify… as drinkers seek out different and more interesting flavors." Nesblitt added that these beers appeal to drink connoisseurs, who are more likely to experiment with higher quality products.

Sophie Atherton, who has just qualified as the U.K.'s first woman beer sommelier, told The Guardian: "Fruit beers are not new but their popularity has been boosted by an increasingly wide range being stocked in major supermarkets. Ten years ago you would have struggled to find any in your local supermarket." She also commented that food lovers were embracing these flavored beers as interesting pairings for fruity desserts, such as summer pudding or strawberry flan.

In addition to fruity flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, and cherry, the fastest-growing area of the U.K. beer market has created spirit-inspired brews such as rum, bourbon, and tequila beers.

Flavored beers are also hitting the Indian market. Indus Pride, an Indian brewing company, recently introduced flavored beers that can be paired well with gourmet Indian cuisine. Their introductory four flavors will include Citrusy Coriander, Citrusy Cardamom, Spicy Fennel, and Fiery Cinnamon. Derek Jones, marketing director of SABMiller India told the Daily News about this business move. "We see a huge opportunity in India as the beer consumption is on a rise with the legal drinking age consumers more open to experimentation today. With the changing lifestyle and rise in disposable income of consumers, more and more people are looking for innovative and interesting products in every segment including beers," he said.

The budding craft brew scene is popularizing flavored beers in America, but they still aren’t as prevalent in stores. Coors released an iced-tea flavored light beer for the summer, but strangely, some of the variations are only sold in other countries. However, Blue Moon, which is owned by Coors, will release its new Caramel Apple Spiced Ale for the fall in late August.