cold brew

Cold Brew Heats up and Non-alcoholic Drinks Make a Splash in 2018

By Rieva Lesonsky

Restaurant and hospitality consultants Andrew Freeman & Company (AF&Co.) predicts there will be a lot of changes in the food and beverage industries in 2018. According to a report in Restaurant Hospitality, the company says, “Change is here to stay, and this year’s top trends reflect the industry’s acceptance of this state. And there’s a lot of change to deal with—economic, political and social factors as well as significant cultural shifts in the way people use restaurants and hotels.”

Last week, we shared some of AF&Co’s predictions for restaurant foods. Now, let’s take a look at some of the changes they predict for beverages.

High-end no-alcohol drinks: This trend is already quite popular where I live in Southern California. Instead of name brand beverages, more and more restaurants are serving house-made sodas, fresh juices and other alcohol-free drinks (some accompanied by health claims).

Adjacent wine bars: AF&Co. says many restaurants are expanding into “neighboring spaces, or dividing existing ones, to add wine bars with limited menus that allow guests to stop by for a drink and/or bite without committing to a full meal.”

Cold Brew 2.0:  The next version of cold brew coffee will be “augmented with flavors ranging from hazelnut to lavender.”

Mezcal: Mescal, which AF&Co. calls “Tequila’s smoky cousin,” is showing up in more and more cocktails. Both are made from agave plants, found in different parts of Mexico.