When reading the Sunday paper last month (yes, I’m a millennial who gets a physical newspaper), my interest was piqued when learning about a new craft beer collaboration. However, this collaboration isn’t between other breweries or a brewery/restaurant partnership. What caught my attention was the union was between a craft brewery and a museum.

Amanda Svachula wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times that the Field Museum recently teamed up with Off Color Brewing, a Chicago brewery, to develop QingMing, a limited-edition beer made with ancient Chinese brewing techniques. The beer was crafted utilizing brewing techniques that were discovered from the analysis of jars that were found in two Chinese tombs dating back thousands of years, Svachula wrote.

This actually is the second partnership between the brewery and museum, which released an ancient Peru-inspired beer last year. The new brew became available at local and national retailers in mid-July.

Although the special-release beer might have been inspired by historical practices, beverage-makers are finding numerous inspirations for new product development, including pop culture, flavor trends, multicultural consumers and much more.

In fact, earlier this year, Nielsen featured a consumer insight titled “A Fresh Look at Multicultural Consumers,” that highlighted growth of this consumer demographic as well as strategies that brand owners and retailers can use to embrace these shoppers.

“Most American households are entering a new mainstream with their own unique set of culinary preferences adopted from various global ethnicities,” the insight stated. “These new shopping patterns are responsible for the higher perishable purchase rates of multicultural consumers and their non-Hispanic white counterparts.”

But wherever influences are drawn, new product development continues to be a driving force for large and small beverage manufacturers. As Beverage Industry once again plays host to its annual webinar on this topic (2 p.m. EDT on Sept. 20), I will be eager to hear what the experts pinpoint as the latest influencers for new product development.