Pumpkin Flavors Are Arriving Earlier Than Ever

Pumpkin spice
Michael Phillips—Getty Images

Is August too early for pumpkin ale?

Pumpkin-flavored beers are being released earlier than ever before. Some brewers have refused to even wait until the beginning of September and have released their pumpkin flavors in August.

From September to November of last year, fall seasonal beers made up over 20% of the $19.6 billion annual craft beer market, with pumpkin and Oktoberfest varieties being the biggest seasonal sellers, USA Today reports. Because there is so much competition in the market, it has led to a wider range of seasonal brews and earlier arrival.

Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale has already been released this month. Keith Villa, founder of Blue Moon Brewing, explained to USA Today why it arrived so earlier:

There are two main reasons we start our distribution of Harvest Pumpkin Ale in August. First, it means our beer is available when people first get pumpkin on their minds and second, it ensures we’ve reached peak distribution by the time September and October roll around.

In caffeinated beverages, Starbucks announced its wildly popular Pumpkin Spice Latte–which this year will contain real pumpkin–will hit stores Sept. 8.

TIME Budweiser

Budweiser Doesn’t Like This Brewer’s ‘Queen of Beer’ Campaign

Bottles of Budweiser beer sit on display at a pub in Hornchu
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Bottles of Budweiser beer.

There is a bit of a turf war brewing

Budweiser is an American lager that thinks (and markets) itself as the “King of Beer.” It also wants to dethrone a purported queen.

There is a bit of a turf war brewing between Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev fortuneand a tiny California craft brewer named She Beverage Co., which last year registered “The Queen of Beer” phrase and began to launch sales at retailers and restaurants in April. Anheuser-Busch is opposing the use of the phrase, the Associated Press reported. Anheuser-Busch says the marketing that She Beverage is using is “virtually identical” to how it markets Budweiser.

Anheuser-Busch, which filed a notice of opposition last week, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the case.

Five beers are sold under the She Beer label, including a “Red Head” Red Intense Lager, and a “Dirty Blonde” California Citrus Amber.

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks Has a Plan For Evenings: Wine, Beer, and Small Plates

A Starbucks store is seen in New York
Eric Thayer—Reuters

Plans have been underway since 2010

Starbucks is a beverage giant mostly known for selling that morning cup of coffee. The chain has spent years working on a plan to give customers a reason to visit at night, too.

USA Today points to the effort by Starbucks to accelerate efforts to sell wine and beer at the company’s restaurants. Starbucks has confirmed it has applied for liquor licenses at several hundred additional locations throughout the U.S. in recent months, with plans to have most of the stores selling beer and wine by the end of the year.

Starbucks will also sell small plates such as bacon-wrapped dates at two dozen new locations across the U.S., Starbucks told the newspaper.

The strategy makes sense on several fronts. Though Starbucks tries its best to sell food, it essentially remains a beverages company. Roughly 73% of revenue derived at company-operated locations comes from beverages — a mix of coffee, teas, and new offerings such as smoothies and handcrafted sodas. But go into any Starbucks in the evening and there are often far shorter lines and fewer people than in the morning, as the need for that caffeine jolt really dips in the later hours of the day.

Starbucks has a lot of prime real estate in urban markets — so it would make sense it would want to leverage those locations for a night occasion. The company has been testing the concept since late 2010, when Starbucks tried serving wine and beer in a handful of Seattle and Portland locations. It has since expanded testing to other markets. Other restaurant concepts are trying the reverse strategy. Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, for example, has made a big push into breakfast.

TIME Food & Drink

Wheaties Beer Is Now a Thing

Box of Wheaties cereal and the limited-edition HefeWheaties beer.
General Mills via AP Box of Wheaties cereal and the limited-edition HefeWheaties beer.

You can now have Wheaties all day long

Wheaties, the breakfast cereal of champions, has teamed up with a nearby craft brewery in Minneapolis to create a limited-edition Hefeweizen beer, appropriately called HefeWheaties.

Fear not, there’s not actually any Wheaties in the beer. The connection is the wheat, which is a trademark of Hefeweizen brews. The south German-style of wheat beer is typically brewed with over 50% malted wheat.

HefeWheaties is the first of this style brewed by Fulton, the craft beer partner. The idea sprung from a shared sense of place: Minneapolis. That, and the management team at Fulton has close ties to General Mills, which owns Wheaties.

Ryan Petz, the president and co-founder of Fulton, initially worked for General Mills after business school, as did Fulton’s direct or operations.

The beer is only a limited-time offering, and it’s only available within Minnesota state lines. But, if you’re in the area after Aug. 26, you can pick up a 4-pack of tallboys at the Twin Cities market or stop by the Fulton taproom in Minneapolis to give it a try.

This article originally appeared on

TIME Food & Drink

These Are the 20 Best Beers in the World

Getty Images

From California to Belgium to Denmark

In honor of International Beer Day, August 7, the beer-rating and -review site has curated a list of the top beers in the world.

The 20 beers were selected for their world-class recognition — some are accessible, some are obscure — and their elegant variety of styles.

From brews with robust cherry aromas to a dessert porter with strong but sweet maple-syrup flavors, keep scrolling to find out which beers made the cut.

20. Aphrodisiaque (Dieu du Ciel)

This stout out of Montreal, Canada, has aromas and flavors of vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon, and roasted malt. Dieu du Ciel brewers consider this black ale a very smooth, mildly hopped dessert beer with a strength of 6.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).

19. Saison Bernice (Sante Aidairius)

A farmhouse ale from the brewers at Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola, California, this beer is dry and refreshing and made with the best local ingredients. Saison Bernice saw multiple yeast additions, including Brettanomyces, to enable further bottle aging and impart a slight sour flavor. Bernice clocks in at 6.5% ABV.

18. Grassroots Brother Soigné (Hill Farmstead)

With a mix of lime, hibiscus, and blood orange, this saison is tart, refreshing, and expertly fermented by Hill Farmstead Brewing Company in Greensboro, Vermont. At 5% ABV, this brew is well carbonated with a medium body.

17. Beer Geek Breakfast (Mikkeller)

Copenhagen, Denmark’s finest brew is an oatmeal stout composed of 25% oat-based ingredients and a nice touch of gourmet coffee. Mikkeller suggests the beer with breakfast because of its lingering coffee flavors offset by a certain sweetness that makes this 7.5% ABV brew highly enjoyable.

16. Citra Single Hop Pale Ale (Hill Farmstead)

This pale ale from the folks at Hill Farmstead Brewing Company is dry-hopped for bittering and flavoring exclusively with citra hops from the Pacific Northwest. Citra Single Hop has notes of grapefruit and tangerine, with a mild 5.5% ABV.

15. What Is Enlightenment? (Hill Farmstead)

In honor of its second anniversary, Hill Farmstead Brewing Co. created this American pale ale hopped with simcoe and amarillo hops. Orange and citrus aromas define this mild bodied beer with a 5.4% ABV.

14. Westvleteren Extra 8 (Sint-SIxtus Abdij)

This Belgian strong ale has a dark-brown pour and a thick head. It’s brewed in Westvleteren, Belgium by a group of Trappist monks and is sold only at the monastery. Westvleteren Extra 8 has found its type of beer drinker to be a person with a palate for dark fruits, malts, and chocolates, and a strong (8%) percentage of alcohol.

13. Serendipity (New Glarus)

New Glarus Brewing Co. in New Glarus, Wisconsin, calls this brew Serendipity — and with apples, cranberries, and cherries aged in oak with a unique fermentation process, it’s just that. A strong and unexpected mix of Wisconsin flavors, Serendipty is a fruit ale with a 5.1% ABV.

12. Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (Funky Buddha)

Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Florida, has managed to create a diner-style breakfast in a glass with its Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, which has aromas of sticky maple syrup, coffee, and cream. At 6.4% ABV, it finishes sticky, rich, and sweet, leaving behind a truly unique aftertaste.

11. Grassroots Legitimacy (Hill Farmstead)

Hill Farmstead brewers have created an India pale ale that uses citrusy hops from the Pacific Northwest. Grassroots Legitimacy is also made with two-row malted barley and oats, and is dry-hopped copiously with simcoe hops. The IPA pours a hazy golden yellow and is 6.7% ABV.

10. Pliny the Elder (Russian River)

Santa Rosa, California’s Russian River Brewing Co. looked to the history of hops to create Pliny the Elder — the double IPA cousin to Russian River’s triple IPA, Pliny the Younger. Pliny the Elder is a strong and hoppy IPA with an ABV of 8%. It’s easily one of the most popular IPAs around.

9. Raspberry Tart (New Glarus)

This fruit beer from New Glarus Brewing is meant to be served very cold in a Champagne flute for optimal raspberry flavor. Oregon shares its harvest of berries with New Glarus, which the brewery then ferments spontaneously in large oak vats. This brew is extravagantly flavored and is 4% ABV.

8. Everett (Hill Farmstead)

Hill Farmstead Brewing Co. named Everett for the brewers’ grandfather’s brother. This porter was created in his honor and is crafted from American malt barley, English and German roasted malts, American hops, and Hill Farmstead’s own yeast. The result is a complex backbone of chocolate, coffee, and malty sweetness with a 7.2% ABV.

7. PseudoSue (Toppling Goliath)

Despite being named for the largest T-rex fossil ever discovered, Toppling Goliath created a brew out of Decorah, Iowa, with a delicate body and robust aromas of grapefruit, citrus, mango, and evergreen. PseudoSue was originally brewed at 5.8% ABV, but the brewers note that future batches will rise to 7% ABV since translating the beer to a larger 30-barrel system.

6. Gose Gone Wild (Stillwater)

Stillwater Artisanal Ales took Westbrook Brewing’s gose and amped it up to create Gose Gone Wild, a German-style sour wheat ale. The brewers added a massive dose of citra and amarillo hops, then fermented it with various strains of Brettanomyces yeast to create a juicy, hoppy flavor with a 4.3% ABV.

5. Zombie Dust (Three Floyds)

Brewers out of Munster, Indiana, from 3 Floyds Brewing Co. have taken citrus hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington State to create this medium-bodied, single-hop American pale ale. At 6.2% ABV, Three Floyds Zombie Dust is golden in hue and surprisingly but nicely hoppy for an APA.

4. Susan (Hill Farmstead)

The brewers at Hill Farmstead have created yet another beer that tops the list. At 6.2% ABV, Susan is an IPA that holds true to its hoppy tendencies. A perfect pour with a short white head, this beer has a nice blend of grassy and citrus notes.

3. Framboos (3 Fonteinen)

Framboos (or Framboise, if you prefer) is a dark, ruby red lambic-style beer with no carbonation. Brewed in Beersel, Belgium, by Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen, this beer has virtually no head and a 5% ABV, with a strong raspberry flavor.

2. Ann (Hill Farmstead)

The folks at Hill Farmstead Brewery have created a beautifully complex saison by aging their Anna beer, a honey saison, in French oak wine barrels and allowing it to mature in the presence of microflora. The result is a 6.5% ABV, aromatic barrel-aged saison with hints of honey and citrus that’s true to its Vermont locale.

1. Wisconsin Belgian Red (New Glarus)

Each bottle of this Belgian-style red ale is brewed in Wisconsin with over a pound of Door County cherries. New Glarus Brewing Co. has perfected the balance to deliver a medium-bodied beer that’s highly carbonated and ruby red in color, with an ABV of 4%.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider

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TIME Venezuela

Venezuela Is Running Out of Beer

Venezuela Beer Shortage
Fernando Llano—AP A liquor store worker organizes Polar beer cans in downtown Caracas on July 31, 2015.

Country's largest brewery is slowing production

The largest beer distributor in Venezuela is beginning to shut down some its breweries, causing widespread frustration in an already resource-strapped country.

Cerveceria Polar, which distributes 80% of Venezuela’s beer, says the lack of barley, hops and other ingredients has forced the shutdown. Other beverages like milk and bottled water have been in short supply for months, but the lack of beer is angering some Venezuelans even more, according to merchants. “People are more freaked out about losing beer than water—it shows how distorted our priorities have become here,” Yefferson Ramirez, a worker at a liquor store, told The Guardian.

Imported and artisanal beers are still readily available, but they cost much more than Polar. Heineken, for instance, can cost five times as much as the country’s most popular beer. The fact that Venezeula is in the midst of a heat wave only makes things worse.

Polar has said that it is awaiting approval from the government to import raw materials to increase beer production, but Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro hasn’t yet commented on the issue.

[The Guardian]

MONEY mutual funds

Dar es Salaam Is the New Brewery Hot Spot

Tom Cockrem—Getty Images Street scene in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Roughly 45% of Tanzanians are between the ages of 15 and 45, prime ages for drinking beer.

Lagos and Dar es Salaam are the new brewery hot spots, according to U.S. mutual fund managers as they tap Africa’s emerging beer companies in pursuit of long-term returns on investment.

U.S. fund managers who originally entered the African market by investing in infrastructure said the continent’s youthful demographics – large swaths of the continent are at prime beer-drinking age – and favorable economics brought by local production are a recipe for a profitable outlook.

“It would cost four or five times more for Tanzanians to import beer than to make it domestically,” said Babatunde Ojo, portfolio manager for Harding Loevner’s $600 million Frontier Emerging Markets strategy.

His fund has added in recent months 730,000 shares of Tanzania Breweries Limited and 900,000 shares of East African Breweries, also a Tanzanian company, according to Lipper data.

The Templeton Frontier Markets Fund noted that it added $3.58 million to East African Breweries and $11.80 million to Nigerian Breweries.

Roughly 45% of Tanzanians are between the ages of 15 and 45, prime ages for drinking beer, said Ojo.

Those demographics are reflected elsewhere in the continent. Cities including Dar-es-Salaam and Lagos, hubs for young professionals, are expected to experience rapid growth of their young populations, according to a 2015 trends report by Ernst and Young.

Africa is expected to see the largest increase in the legal drinking age population by 2018, while in western Europe and North America, the cumulative decline in beer volumes since 1998 has been between 5% and 10%, according to Rabobank Research.

Mark Mobius, executive chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, is particularly enthusiastic about Nigerian Breweries Plc, which is majority owned by Heineken Holding NV. Templeton Asset Management Ltd. holds 0.83% of the company.

“Relative to its competitors, the company (Nigerian Breweries) imports considerably fewer raw materials – reducing its exposure to the depreciating naira, and lessening the impact on profit margins and turnover – and also has the strongest distribution capability among its peers,” Mobius wrote in an email to Reuters last week.

To be sure, share prices in Nigerian Breweries and other African peers have been falling this year as some countries suffer from decreased revenue and other commodities and in part because of uncertainty among minority investors about how and whether large global liquor companies Heineken and Diageo PLC will take their interests in Africa.

Should they choose to deemphasize beer at the expense of spirits, that could hurt the brewers.

Furthermore, some of these stocks are thinly traded and investing in Africa is still considered risky by many.

“If you invest in Africa, it will be a rocky ride between the possibility of economic and political instability, but if you look at the long-term potential, the rewards you can reap are very interesting and worthwhile,” said Francois Sonneville, Director in Food and Agribusiness Research at Rabobank International, a Dutch banking company.

Sonneville also said governments could impose tough taxes on beer companies if economic growth remains low this year.

Furthermore, not all of Africa may be equally ripe for beer sales. North African countries with large Muslim populations have some of the highest abstention rates in the world, according to the World Health Organization’s 2014 global status report on alcohol and health.

TIME Poland

When Life Gives You Apples, Make Cider

WOJTEK RADWANSKI—AFP/Getty Images Jozef Czarnocki, owner of a popular Warsaw bar, is biting an apple and hoding a bottle of Polish cider to show his support for Twitter campaign "#eatapples to spite Putin", in Warsaw on July 31, 2014.

That's what the people of Poland did, when a Russian ban on Polish apples left them with a huge mountain of surplus fruit

Polish brewer Tomek Porowski knew he was taking a gamble when he opened his business in 2011. In a country obsessed with pure, strong vodka, he decided to produce, a light, sweet, low-alcohol beverage — apple cider.

“I couldn’t afford to start a winery, so I decided instead to start [making] cider,” Porowski tells TIME. With his friend Marcin Hermanowicz, who lives in Grojec, the orchard capital of Poland, they launched Cydr Ignacow with the intention of selling it to a small city-slicker niche.

Their business was a success, and as their cider started appearing in more bars and restaurants with each passing year, so other brewers were inspired to start their own craft cider operations. Porowski feels like he has sparked a trend much larger than what he initially intended — and he has Russia to thank for it.

After Warsaw criticized Moscow’s actions in Ukraine in 2014, Russia banned some Polish exports, including apples. Surplus fruit piled up, and the consumption of apples became something of a nationalist duty, spurred by its own Twitter hashtag, #eatapples. Poland’s newfound love of cider was born in this climate. Sales of the beverage have almost quadrupled in the past year alone, according to Malgorzata Przybylowicz-Nowak, the editor in chief of the website Kraina Cydru, or Land of Cider.

“Cider producers took definite advantage of the national outcry against the embargo,” Iwona Chromiak, a spokesperson for Poland’s Ministry of Agriculture, told TIME in an email interview. “The embargo directly led to the popularity of cider.”

To some, it’s no surprise that Poland would eventually become a good market for cider. After all, Poland produces more apples than Italy does grapes, explains Agnieszka Wozniak of Ambra, one of Poland’s biggest distributors of wines and alcoholic beverages.

The beverage had to overcome an image problem first. To Poles who grew up under communist rule, fizzy alcoholic beverages made from apples, known as jabolami, were the epitome of socialist shabbiness, drunk only by misty-eyed seniors lamenting the days of Gomulka and Gierek.

Even a few years ago, this reluctance to accept cider was marked. According to a 2013 KPMG study done on the Polish alcohol market, Poles consumed over 4 billion liters of alcohol a year, with beer and vodka constituting almost 80% of that total. Only 11% of the population drank cider with anything approaching regularity.

In the past two years, this number has shot up. The cider market increased from $6.63 million to $21 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Ambra started mass-producing ciders like Cydr Lubelski in the summer of 2013, selling them in stores throughout the country. Przybylowicz-Nowak says she is expecting Poles to drink over 80 million liters of the beverage in the coming years — although that number still only represents about 2% of Poland’s total beer market, Wozniak says.

To gain greater market share, cider makers like Kamil Mazuruk, the owner of Dzik Cider, are counting on the drink’s appeal to young people, for whom the drink doesn’t have cheap connotations. “Hipsters are a good channel of communications — they brag about the brands they like,” says Mazuruk, who has been selling his product to trendy bars and restaurants in Poland’s bigger cities, like Warsaw and Krakow.

“We see big potential here, because more young people born in 1991 don’t know what was there before,” he adds, making a reference to the year when Poland threw off Soviet rule. It seems that apples, nationalism and antipathy toward the Russians make for a distinctly Polish cocktail, however you decide to brew it.

MONEY Shopping

10 Things Millennials Buy Far More Often Than Everyone Else

For real, snakes?

Roughly a year ago, we at MONEY rounded up a fun list of 10 things millennials won’t spend money on—at least not to the same degree as older generations. Cars, cable TV, and Costco were all on the list, as were houses. A freshly released Pew Research Center study indicates that a larger-than-expected percentage of young people are still living with their parents rather than moving out and perhaps buying a place of their own.

Yes, millennials are stingy when it comes to spending in certain categories. Yet even as they aren’t following in the footsteps of their consumer forebears in terms of embracing big-ticket items like houses and cars, millennials spend far more freely on certain other items compared to older generations. Here are 10 things they buy more often—sometimes a lot more often—than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers, including a few big surprises.

  • Gas Station Food

    Customers line up for their free Slurpees in a 7-Eleven store in New York
    Richard Levine—Alamy

    Millennials have been referred to as the grab-and-go generation, with 29% saying that they often purchase food and drink while on the run, compared with 19% of consumers overall. You might think that Chipotle or perhaps Starbucks would be the biggest beneficiary of this habit. But according to the NPD Group, Gen Y restaurant visits are actually on the decline, particularly among older millennials who are more likely to have families. What’s more, in terms of drawing millennial food and beverage visits, the fast-casual segment is handily beaten by an under-the-radar retail category: the gas station.

    Whereas fast-casual accounted for 6.1% of millennial food and beverage stops in 2014, NPD researchers point out that 11.4% of such visits took place at convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Wawa, Cumberland Farms, and Sheetz, where the hot to-go offerings include salads, wraps, healthy(ish) sandwiches, pizza, and wings alongside old standards like hot dogs and microwaveable burritos. Some even have espresso and smoothie bars, which is probably news to most older folks. “If you’re 50 or over, you still think the convenience store is primarily a gas station,” the NPD Group’s Harry Balzer explained to USA Today.

  • Same-Day Delivery

    FedEx Same Day delivery truck
    courtesy FedEx

    Patience is not exactly a virtue among consumers who grew up with smartphones and social media. Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow sums up this mindset as “I want what I want, when I want it,” and points to a survey indicating that millennials have been twice as likely as other generations to pay extra for same-day delivery of online purchases.

    Earlier this year, the New York Times took note of a surge in same-day delivery, in particular among services supplying alcohol directly to the customer’s door. “It has not hurt that millennials, who are used to ordering food for delivery on their smartphones, have come of legal drinking age,” the Times noted.

  • Hot Sauce

    Sriracha bottles on shelf
    Patti McConville—Alamy

    Sriracha is everywhere. It is spicing up potato chips and croutons, adding some extra kick to Heinz ketchup, and offering a strange twist at Pizza Hut. Heck, it’s even in beer. And the overwhelming reason Sriracha is ubiquitous is that it’s evolved into the go-to condiment of the all-important millennial demographic. More than half of American households now have hot sauce on hand. Sriracha specifically is stocked in 9% of them—and in 16% of households headed by someone under age 35.

    The hot sauce craze has translated to a constantly changing roster of ultra-spicy items on fast food menus. Part of the reason that millennials prefer spicier foods is that they were exposed to different tastes at fairly young ages. “Millennials like hot, spicy foods because of their experience with more ethnic foods, like Hispanic and Asian,” said Kelly Weikel, senior consumer research manager at Technomic.

  • Snakes

    snake collar
    Luca Gavagna—Getty Images/iStockphoto

    This past spring, an odd extension for Google Chrome was desisnged to allow users to sub the phrase “snake people” in the place of “millennials” on screens. It was a fun goof that now seems like ancient history. But it turns out that millennials really are snake people, in the sense that they have more interest than other generations in buying and keeping snakes—and all reptiles—as pets.

    “This age group, 15-35 years old, is the generation that is most active in reptile keeping and searching for related material online,” Keith Morris, national sales manager for the reptile product site, told Pet Age last summer. Data collected by Pet Age also indicates millennials are more willing to splurge on their pets with luxuries like custom beds: 76% said they’d be likely to splurge on pets rather than themselves, compared with just 50% of Baby Boomers. Yet another survey indicated that millennials are far more interested than Boomers and Gen Xers in pet healthcare as a job benefit. So the big takeaway is: Millennials really love pets in all shapes, sizes, and species.

  • Athleisure

    Yoga Pants
    Kirsten Dayton—Alamy

    The demographic that overwhelmingly gets the credit for yoga pants replacing jeans as the mainstream go-to casual bottom of choice (and even coming to be seen as legitimate work clothes at the office) is of course the millennial generation. Yoga pants, hoodies, sweatpants, and other leggings are lumped into the “athleisure” or “leisurewear” clothing category, which has been most warmly embraced by millennials—and in turn inspired retailers ranging from Ann Taylor to the Gap to Dick’s Sporting Goods to ramp up their selections of women’s exercise wear that’s not necessarily for exercise.

    “When I look at athleisure bottom business—the yoga pant, sweat pant, sweat short—it has displaced the jean business one to one,” NPD Group retail analyst Marshal Cohen said recently. Sales of such clothing rose 13% during a recent 12-month span, and now represent roughly 17% of the entire clothing market, according to the market research firm. “For every jean we are not selling or used to sell we are selling an athleisure bottom. It has become as important to the market as denim would be.”

    Side note: Yoga pants aren’t the only skin-tight garment getting a boost from millennials. During the 12-month period that ended in May, spending on women’s tights was up 24% among millennials, who now account for 45% of all sales in the category.

  • Organic Food

    Organic produce sections in The Whole Foods Market in Willowbrook, Illinois
    Jeff Haynes—AFP/Getty Images

    According to a Gallup poll conducted last summer, 45% of Americans actively seek out organic foods to include in their diets. Millennials are a lot more likely than average to feel that it’s important to go organic, however, so the preferences of younger consumers skew the overall average up. Whereas only 33% of Americans age 65 and older actively try to include organic foods in their diets, 53% of Americans ages 18 to 29 do so.

  • Tattoos & Piercings

    Millennial with the words "Hustle" and "Money" tattooed on each leg using his iPhone
    Petri Artturi Asikainen—Getty Images

    It’s been estimated that 20% of Americans—and nearly 40% of millennials—have at least one tattoo. Surveys conducted for Pew Research several years ago indicated that about 30% of millennials had piercings somewhere other than their ears, which is six times higher than older Americans.

    Despite the growing acceptance of tattoos simply by way of them becoming mainstream, millennials remain somewhat cautious about getting one because it could hurt their chances of being hired. Or at least they’re careful when deciding the placement of a tattoo. In a recent University of Tampa poll, 86% of students said that having a visible tattoo would hurt one’s chances of getting a job. It’s understandable, then, that 70% of millennial workers with tattoos say they hide their ink from the boss.

  • Energy Drinks

    Monster brand energy drinks on sale in a convenience store in New York
    Richard Levine—Alamy

    American parents, likely exhausted by nighttime feedings, hectic schedules, and such, understandably feel the need to resort to energy drinks. A recent Mintel survey shows that 58% of U.S. households with children consume Red Bull, Monster, or other energy drinks, compared to just 27% of households without kids.

    Meanwhile, millennials are even more likely than parents in general to throw back energy drinks: 64% of millennials consume them regularly, and 29% of older millennials (ages 27 to 37, who are more likely to be parents themselves) say they’ve increased the number of energy drinks they consume in recent months.

  • Donations at the Cash Register

    signing electronic bill at register
    Juan Monino—Getty Images

    Some shoppers feel annoyed and put on the spot when a store clerk asks if they’d like to make a charitable donation while ringing up a purchase at the cash register. This isn’t the case with the typical millennial, however.

    According to a report from the consultancy firm the Good Scout Group, of all generations “Gen Y likes being asked to give to charity at the register the most.” What’s more, millennials say that they donate at store cash registers more often than any other generation, and they also felt “most positively about charities and retailers once they gave.”

  • Craft Booze

    Growlers on a table outside Faction Beer Brewery, Alameda, California
    Silicon Valley Stock—Alamy

    More so than other generations, millennials have demonstrated a distaste for mass-market beers and spirits—and a preference for the pricier small-batch booze. In one survey, 43% of millennials say craft beer tastes better than mainstream brews, compared to less than one-third of Baby Boomers. As millennials have grown up and more and more have crossed the age of 21, craft beer sales have soared at the same time that mass-market brands like Budweiser and Miller have suffered. A Nielsen poll showed that 15% of millennials’ beer money goes to the craft segment, which is impressive considering the limited buying power of this college-age demographic. By comparison, craft brews account for less than 10% of money spent on beer by Gen X and Baby Boomers.

    Millennials are also given an outsize share of the credit for the boom in craft spirits over household brands handled by the big distributors. As with craft beer, researchers say that millennials like craft liquors partly because it’s easier to connect to the back story of the beverages, and there’s an air of “inclusive exclusivity” and uniqueness about them. For that matter, millennials seem to care more in general about liquor brands. In one survey, 64% of millennials said that including the brand of spirit in a menu cocktail description was important or very important, compared to 55% of Gen Xers and 50% of Baby Boomers who felt that way.

MONEY Food & Drink

5 Great Things That Beer Does for America

Assembly Line Worker in Brewery
Cavan Images—Alamy

Hey beer: Thanks! Love, America.

The 2015 edition of “Beer Serves America,” a report prepared for the Beer Institute lobbying group, has just been released to highlight all of the wonderful things that beer does for you. Or rather, what the beer industry does for all of us, including employing millions of people and generating billions in economic output.

Here are five factoids from the report demonstrating how much brewers and the beer industry do for America, based on 2014 data:

5,825: Increase in number of Americans who worked in breweries in 2014 vs. 2012.

49,570: Number of Americans directly employed by brewers and beer importers.

1.75 million: Total number of jobs generated by America’s beer industry, including farmers, distributors, wholesalers, and bar and restaurant workers; researchers estimate that each brewery job generates approximately 34 additional full-time jobs.

$48.5 billion: Tax revenues generated from beer sales and beer workers.

$252.6 billion: Estimated economic output of the entire beer industry in America, representing 1.5% of U.S. GDP.

As impressive as the data seems, it’s worth noting that the figures aren’t necessarily all on the rise. The overall economic output contributed by beer last year is up only slightly from 2012, when it was estimated at $246.6 billion, according to a previous Beer Institute report. Because GDP was lower in 2012, beer contributed a higher percentage (1.6%) of the country’s economic output that year. What’s more, the Beer Institute reported that the industry generated more than two million jobs and contributed $49.2 billion in taxes in 2012, meaning that there was actually a decline in both categories by 2014.

Overall, beer sales in the U.S. have been flat or down slightly over the past several years. The general trend has seen mass-market brands like Budweiser flag, while craft beer sales have soared, with the net result being just a 0.5% increase in beer sales in 2014.

The Beer Institute report acknowledged “a dramatic shift away from less expensive products to more expensive local and ‘craft’ beers in bars and restaurants.” Yet instead of praising small brewers and the craft segment for their success, the report curiously passes onto them some of the blame for the drop in beer-related employment: “Consumers purchase smaller volumes of these higher priced beers than they do of less expensive domestic light lagers and pilsners, suggesting that fewer employees are required to serve beer in a given bar or tavern.”

Meanwhile, a report also released this week by the Brewers Association, which represents craft brewers’ interests, points out just how quickly the craft brewing market continues to grow—and how many people it directly employs.

“As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year,” the report states. “Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.”

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