As brewers and distributors, we all seek to appeal to the millennials, who make up about 25 percent of the total U.S. population and the entirety of the coveted 21-35 year-old beer drinkers segment.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, include those who were born in the 1980s through the early 2000s. They have spent their entire lives with access to the Internet and a smartphone in their pocket, and they have developed a new set of criteria to determine products they support.

Traditional advertising is often viewed as spin and inauthentic by millennials, so brands are hard at work finding new ways to speak to these consumers. Here are six facts your craft beer business should know about connecting with millennials.

1. Millennials define craft as small, independent, high quality and local.

  • Top three terms associated with “craft”: “small independent company”; “small batch production”; and “handcrafted.”3
  • Reasons for drinking more craft: better quality, more variety, consistent availability on-premise, more flavor options and more seasonal offerings; on draught, price and complements food are other key criteria.3
  • “Locally made” continues to gain importance to craft beer millennials.3

6 Things You Need to Know about Millennials and Craft Beer

2. Millennials connect digitally with friends and companies.

  • Millennials increasingly turn to their social media network to guide purchasing decisions: 34 percent of consumers respond positively to “When a brand uses social media, I like that brand more.”2
  • Recommendations from family and friends are the number one deciding factor when making purchasing decision (social media, word of mouth).2
  • 62 percent of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.2
  • They want to co-create products with companies; 42 percent are interested in helping companies develop future products and services.2

3. Millennials seek strong value, not always lower cost.

  • Millennials have less disposable income due to lower employment, reduced income and increased student loan debt.3
  • Flavor (99 percent) and freshness (94 percent) are the top two factors when choosing a craft beer to purchase.4
  • Craft beer is viewed as an affordable luxury.3

4. Millennials value experiences over physical products.

  • Many are delaying commitments such as house purchase, marriage, kids until later in life.2
  • Instead of recognizing a brand by a name or a logo, millennials find true value in the experiences they co-create with the brand.3
  • 61 percent of females 21-34 drink craft beer with food more now that a couple years ago.3
  • Millennials love brands that support their local communities and would rather purchase from them than competitors: 75 percent said it’s important a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit.2

5. Millennials live an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle.

  • 61 percent of weekly craft drinkers say they always or often drink craft beer with food.
  • Active lifestyle: Health is becoming more important (i.e., eating right, exercising, not falling sick, maintaining healthy weight).5

6. Millennials are adventurous.

  • More than 69 percent of millennials consider themselves adventurous. They are loyal to brands that provide experiences they cannot get in their everyday lives.3
  • Millennial males purchase a craft brand that they have never heard of or seen advertised 47 percent of the time.3
  • Among weekly craft drinkers, millennials try 5.1 different brands per month. 15 percent try 10 plus brands per month. Brewers need to offer a broad variety of beers to keep the consumer within your portfolio.3


The most successful distributors in the years ahead will be the ones who focus their efforts on partnering with craft brewers who are high quality, strong in their home markets, innovative and unique, engaging socially/digitally with consumers on daily basis and, perhaps most importantly, authentic.

As this great industry continues to grow, distributors and brewers should continue pushing each other to get better—not just bigger—so we can continue providing the best beers in the world to thirsty drinkers throughout the U.

Favorite Beers of 2017

What do you, and your beer and brewing enthusiast peers, consider to be your favorite beers, breweries, styles, and more?

Here are the top 50.

  1. Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted IPA
  2. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  3. Russian River Pliny the Elder IIPA
  4. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  5. Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
  6. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
  7. Founders All Day IPA
  8. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
  9. Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont
  10. Founders Breakfast Stout
  11. Stone Enjoy By IPA
  12. 3 Floyds Zombie Dust Pale Ale
  13. Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
  14. The Alchemist Heady Topper IPA
  15. Stone IPA
  16. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
  17. Duvel-Moortgat Duvel
  18. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
  19. Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA
  20. Lagunitas IPA
  21. Yuengling Lager
  22. Brasserie d’Orval Orval
  23. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
  24. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA
  25. Anchor Brewing Anchor Steam
  26. Verhaeghe Brewery Duchesse de Bourgogne
  27. Bell’s Brewery Hopslam IIPA
  28. Firestone Walker Pivo Pils
  29. New Holland Dragon’s Milk Stout
  30. Tree House Julius IPA
  31. Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale
  32. Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’
  33. Lawson’s Finest Sip of Sunshine IPA
  34. Allagash White
  35. Odell IPA
  36. North Coast Old Rasputin Stout
  37. Victory Golden Monkey Tripel
  38. Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
  39. Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA
  40. Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb! Stout
  41. Unibroue La Fin du Monde
  42. Deschutes Black Butte Porter
  43. Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale
  44. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  45. Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA
  46. St. Bernardus Abt 12 Quadrupel
  47. Creature Comforts Tropicalia IPA
  48. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
  49. Jack’s Abby Hoponious Union IPL
  50. Victory Prima Pils 

“Wishlist” Breweries & Beers

We asked you to tell us what breweries and what beers you haven’t had (yet) but that are tops on your list to seek out.

Wishlist Breweries

  1. Russian River (Santa Rosa, California)
  2. The Alchemist (Waterbury, Vermont)
  3. 3 Floyds (Munster, Indiana)
  4. Cantillon (Brussels, Belgium)
  5. Brouwerij de Sint-Sixtusabdij (Westvleteren, Belgium)
  6. Tree House (Monson, Massachusetts)
  7. Samuel Adams (Boston, Massachusetts)
  8. Hill Farmstead (Greensboro Bend, Vermont)
  9. Cigar City (Tampa, Florida)
  10. Maine Beer Co. (Freeport, Maine)
  11. Trillium (Canton, Massachusetts)
  12. Founders (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  13. The Lost Abbey (San Marcos, California)
  14. Toppling Goliath (Decorah, Iowa)
  15. Brew Dog (Columbus, Ohio)

Wishlist Beers

  1. Russian River Pliny The Elder
  2. Russian River Pliny The Younger
  3. The Alchemist Heady Topper
  4. 3 Floyds Dark Lord
  5. Westvleteren XII
  6. Samuel Adams Utopias
  7. Tree House Julius IPA
  8. 3 Floyds Zombie Dust
  9. Cigar City Hunahpu’s Stout
  10. Maine Beer Co. Dinner
  11. Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout
  12. The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze
  13. Russian River Blind Pig IPA
  14. Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout
  15. Cantillon Fou’ Foune

“Desert-Island” Beers & Breweries

That hypothetical scenario where you could drink only one beer or one brewery’s beer while stranded on a deserted island:

“If you could drink only one beer for the rest of your life…”

  1. “My Homebrew”
  2. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  3. Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale
  4. Russian River Pliny the Elder IIPA
  5. Founders All Day IPA
  6. The Alchemist Heady Topper IPA
  7. 3 Floyds Zombie Dust Pale Ale
  8. Guinness Extra Stout
  9. Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont
  10. Stone IPA
  11. Duvel-Moortgat Duvel
  12. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
  13. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
  14. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA
  15. Tree House Julius IPA
  16. Brasserie D’Orval Orval
  17. Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
  18. Odell IPA
  19. Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
  20. Creature Comforts Tropicalia IPA

Honey BBQ Chicken Strips Recipe


  • 2 lbs chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)


  1. Season chicken strips with salt and pepper and marinate in 2 cups buttermilk for at least 2 hours.
  2. Bring oil to 350-360F in a large frying pan, about 1 inch deep.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. Combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika in a shallow bowl and stir to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of buttermilk and hot sauce, set aside.
  6. Combine barbecue sauce, honey, and apple cider vinegar in a shallow bowl, set aside.
  7. Remove the chicken strips from the buttermilk and shake off the excess.
  8. Dip the chicken strip in flour mixture, then in the buttermilk and hot sauce mixture, and then back in the flour mixture Shake off excess flour.
  9. Gently place in the hot oil and fry, turning over when golden brown. Drain on paper towels or on a rack.
  10. Repeat until all chicken has been fried. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked through because we’ll be finishing it off in the oven.
  11. Gently dip the strips in the barbecue sauce and honey mixture or use brush the mixture onto the strips. Shake off excess.
  12. Place chicken strips on a parchment line baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Baking time will depend on the size of your chicken strips.
  13. Note: if you want to spice these up a bit, add some hot sauce or sriracha to the honey-bbq glaze.

Johnnie Walker Heads Into The Future With Its Blade Runner-Inspired Whiskey

Johnnie Walker is celebrating the release of the upcoming Blade Runner sequel with a bottle that revists the past, but is firmly planted in the future. The Director’s Cut limited edition is based on the Black Label bottle prop from the original movie, which has been updated and continues to be enjoyed by Phil Deckard in 2049. Limited to 39,000 bottles worldwide, the flavor has been described as “a classic Johnnie Walker Black Label style but with a contemporary twist. A dark, rich, smooth blend, with clouds of smokiness and a touch of femininity.”

Customers Outraged After Buffalo Wild Wings Employee Silences National Anthem

The National Anthem is the focus of controversy again, this time in Riverside County.

Customers at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Eastvale say an employee refused to let them hear the anthem before an NFL game Monday night – which happened to be the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

customer who identified herself as Lori was there that day, and said the employee refused to play the sound of the anthem for one game, but played it for the game before.

When he was asked why, the employee — who was not identified – said the anthem is too controversial, and it was company policy not to play it.

“No one understood what was so controversial. It’s 9/11, it’s a sporting event, why is it controversial?” she said.

The franchise owner also apologized in a statement and said the company has no policy regarding the matter.

Cheeseburger Salad Recipe


  • 2 cups mixed salad greens of your choice
  • 3 grilled (cooked) beef slider burgers or 1 regular sized one (I used Certified Angus Beef® brand)
  • 1 dill pickle spear, cut into chunks
  • 4 – 5 grape tomatoes
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • butter-flavored “bun” croutons (recipe below)


  • On a plate, add the lettuce and arrange the remaining ingredients on top of the lettuce. Serve immediately.
  • To make bun croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut two hamburger buns into cubes. Toss with 2 TBS melted unsalted butter, salt and pepper.  Spread out single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy (about 15 minutes or so), mixing once halfway between baking.

Uncle Duke’s Whisky

BrewDog, known for their wild beer and wilder TV show, offers drinks a bit stiffer than an IPA should you need something stronger. Namely, they make Uncle Duke’s Whisky, a sweet spirit in a bottle with all kinds of old school charm. With an ABV of 40% and notes of honey, vanilla, and sticky toffee, the booze is flavorful yet smooth. Perhaps best of all is how it looks on your bar cart, as the label and bottle shape look pulled from an old saloon. You can order from BrewDog’s overseas shop, or visit one of their outposts for a bottle of your own.

Nordstrom’s New Store Has Beer But No Clothing

Retail giant Nordstrom just released details on Nordstrom Local, a small retail concept store opening in LA later this year. The 3,000-square-foot store focuses on a more individually tailored experience that will have you sipping beer, wine or espresso as you interact with Personal Stylists and have your clothes tailored. The one big thing that seems to have everyone troubled is the fact that Nordstrom Local won’t actually have any dedicated inventory of clothing or accessories for you to purchase. Even if there are items to try on in the styling suite or one of the eight dressing rooms, purchases will still need to be transferred from another Nordstrom store or shipped from In all honesty, it seems like more of a Trunk Club outpost that will also serve as a pickup and dropoff point for Nordstrom goods, but that’s not a bad thing if the location of Nordstrom Local is convenient for you.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls Recipe


  • 2 cups macaroni and cheese, chilled
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 8 egg roll wrappers
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • barbecue sauce for dipping


  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or Dutch Oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix macaroni and cheese and bacon together. Spoon about ¼ cup onto each egg roll wrapper. Dampen edges of egg roll wrapper with water. Roll up according to package directions.
  3. Cover with a damp paper towel until ready to fry.
  4. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  5. Fry egg rolls, a few at a time until well browned, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Cut egg rolls in half and serve with barbecue sauce.

Michter’s Releases A Toasted Barrel Finish Rye

This month, Michter’s is releasing a new limited release Rye whiskey that they’ve developed after years of research on using different barrel finishes. The end result is their new Toasted Barrel Finish, which is aged using fire-charred, American white oak barrels and toasted 24-month air dried wood barrels.

The Rye is bottled at 108.6 proof and has tasting notes described as “enhanced spice notes with delicate chocolate overtones balanced by some vanilla and honey, hints of roasted nuts and dates, with a lingering finish of burnt brown sugar reminiscent of crème brûlée complemented by some smokey campfire highlights.”