The most wonderful time of the year is here, and young and old are excited about baking holiday cookies, extended vacations, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. No doubt, eating lots of delicious food and enjoying alcohol and non-alcohol beverages are part of many holiday plans.
There’s a plethora of alcohol and non-alcohol recipes like Christmosas, jingle juice, Christmas punch, eggnog, hot buttered rum, and more to bring the flavors and nostalgia of the holidays home, according to recipes on websites like Allrecipe.com and Delish.com.
As consumers and mixologists are experimenting with cocktail recipes, more might be turning to craft spirits for inspiration. The craft distilling industry sold nearly 7.2 million cases in 2017, up 23.7 percent in volume compared with 2016, accounting for $3.7 billion in sales, a 29.9 percent growth by value, according to findings from the 2018 Craft Spirits Data Project, a collaboration among the American Craft Spirits Association, Park Street and the IWSR.
Last year, the number of active craft distilleries in the United States grew by 15.5 percent to 1,835 distilleries. In addition, the report notes that craft spirits industry investment has doubled during the past two years. In 2017, investment in the U.S. craft spirits industry increased by $195 million to $593 million in total. This is nearly double from the $299 million in 2015, it says.
Not to be outdone, exports also are up 5.7 percent since 2016 with more than a half million cases exported. Exports of U.S. craft spirits reached 598,000 cases in 2017, adding more than 7.7 percent of additional volume in craft distillers’ total sales.
As consumers continue to sample craft spirits, it will be interesting to see how the category trends in 2019.