LAS VEGAS -- Beer, wine and malt-beverage makers flooded the NACS Show floor with a wide variety of new drink types and flavors during the event Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas. While rose stood out as a leading trend flavor, traditional cocktail tastes such as margarita and sex on the beach met with updated mixology like ginger and chelada, underscoring a time of variety and innovation. Here’s a look at 14 brands that stood out …
Anheuser-Busch offered samples of nearly a dozen new products, several of which are still in test. These included:
- Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, the first organic light beer on the market, according to the company.
- Estrella Jalisco Mango Michelada, a blend of mango beer mixed with Clamato Picante “with a California twist."
- Ritas Berry-rita, an 8% alcohol drink that combines juicy and tart flavors with a margarita twist.
- Patagonia, a specialty Bohemian pilsner beer with a slightly sweet taste and a refreshing, crisp finish, according to the company.
- LQD Hard Green Tea and Hard Coconut Water, drinks made with premium ingredients naturally fermented into alcohol. Each style will launch in two flavors. For LQD Hard Green Tea, it’s Peach and Passion Fruit, and for LQD Hard Coconut Water , it will be Original and Pineapple.
Ready-to-drink cocktail maker BuzzBallz has created a second line of drinks made with wine to expand their reach into states where liquor-based cocktails cannot be sold in c-stores. Available in 375-mL plastic cans, the new line, dubbed BuzzTallz, are available in six flavors: Chocolate Tease, Stiff Lemonade, Lime Rita, Lotta Colada, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Horchata.
4. Cafe Agave
Cafe Agave brought its packaged spiked cold brew coffees to the NACS Show. Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew is made with 100% Arabica Columbian coffee and has 12.5% alcohol by volume. Packaged in 6.3-ounce cans, the coffee cocktails are available in four flavors: Espresso Shot, Caffe Mocha, Salted Caramel and Vanilla Cinnamon.
7. Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands showcased a number of new beer and wine products during the NACS Show, many of them yet to see rollout to convenience stores. These include:
- Crafters Union, a line of wines now available in 12-ounce cans in Red Blend, Rose and Pinot Grigio.
- Svedka Spiked Seltzer, available in slim 12-ounce cans in Tangerine, Strawberry and Lime.
- Corona Refresca, a “spiked refresher” available in Passionfruit Lime and Guava Lime.
- Also coming from Constellation, new beer flavors and styles from Four Corners, Funky Buddha, Ballast Point and Modelo Chelada.
8. E. & J. Gallo Winery
E. & J. Gallo Winery featured new 250-mL bottles of its Starborough and Prophecy wines during the NACS Show. But perhaps most striking is the company’s plan to bring back the Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler brand. The drinks, which date back to the mid-1980s heyday of wine coolers, will hit shelves in mid-March in six-packs of 12-ounce cans in four modern flavors: Watermelon and Mint, Ginger and Lemon, Cucumber and Lime, and Grapefruit and Green Tea.
9. Mike’s Hard
Mike’s Hard offered a wide variety of new malt beverages for sampling. These included Mike’s Harder Black Cherry, Purple Grape and Watermelon, and White Claw Hard Seltzer in 19.2-ounce single-serve cans, including new Raspberry and Mango flavors. The company also featured its MXD Cocktail brand, a 12% ABV line available in two flavors: Margarita and Long Island Iced Tea.
11. North American Brewing
North American Brewing, which changed its name to FIFCO USA shortly after the NACS Show, featured new malt beverage rollouts. These included the addition of a Tropical Pineapple Sunset flavor to its Seagram’s Escapes Spiked 8% ABV line and the launch of Sniki-Tiki, a 9.9% ABV malt drink available in Scorpion (orange and pineapple) and Killer Punch (pineapple, coconut and hint of nutmeg) flavors.
12. Prestige Beverage Group
Prestige Beverage Group launched its new malt drink Kinky at the NACS Show. Available in 16-ounce cans at 10% alcohol by volume, the drinks are available in three flavors: Juiced Up Salted Watermelon, Bangin’ Black Raspberry and Slammin’ Sour Apple.
13. TGI Fridays Cocktails
Ennoble Beverages will help consumers bring the weekend home with a new line of flavored malt beverages branded with the TGI Fridays name. The 16-ounce drinks include 5.9% alcohol by volume and will roll out in three flavors: Long Island Iced Tea, Moscow Mule and Long Island Iced Tea Blackberry.
14. The Wine Group
The Wine Group will bring back an old name in alcohol next spring. MD 20/20, nicknamed Mad Dog, will launch in 16.9-ounce cans in spring 2019. The “hard wine fusion” drinks contain 9% alcohol by volume and will be available in four flavors: Arctic Berry, Orange Flame, Citrus Storm and Pineapple Blast.