Beer—It’s What’s For Dinner

Even though craft beer is all the rage lately, one must not forget that “regular” beer hasn’t lost its steam in the United States.

Both domestic and import beers saw increases in 2013, largely due in part to unique flavor profiles, variety and drive to compete with craft beer breweries.

U.S. domestic dollar sales for beer were up approximately 2% last year, resulting in more than $23 billion in sales, according to Information Resources Inc., a market research firm based out of Chicago. The super-premium beer category sold the best overall, with a 19.6% increase.

Imports also saw an increase in sales last year, with a 3.4% increase amounting to $4.2 billion in sales. New brands and mergers in the import category seemed to intrigue consumers, as new products and varieties hit U.S. shelves.

Boston, Mass.-based Samuel Adams’ Honey Porter contributed to rising beer sales last year. It is a flavorful and full-bodied porter with a big roasty malt character and smooth, rounded finish. It is brewed with traditional English ale hops and dry-hopped with East Kent Goldings, known for their spicy aroma and earthy flavor. Scottish Heather Honey gives this brew a unique floral and earthy sweetness.

Established in 1896 by Adophus Busch, the Michelob brand still is going strong more than 100 years later. Try a taste of natural wildflower honey that is added to European aromatic hops and toasted caramel barley malt for a balanced taste. This beer is slightly sweet and uniquely soft.

HoneyMax Sports Drink

HoneyMaxx is an all-natural sports drink that uses dried honey as its main carbohydrate source.

Designed with athletes in mind, the product is loaded with natural antioxidants and a full electrolyte profile of potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium. The drink currently is available in two flavors—orange and lemon lime.

HoneyMaxx was founded by athletes and developed to offer an all-natural sports to athletes. Founders Mark Ysseldyk and Tom Freure began HoneyMaxx in 2012, and the company is based in Ontario, Canada.

Wild Wolf Beer Company Blonde Hunny

Wild Wolf Beer Company Blonde Hunny


Blonde Hunny is an unfiltered Belgian style Blonde Ale with wheat and local honey in each pour.

Wild Wolf Beer has added a special spice blend to give it an additional kick. This beer is smooth and refreshing, with a straw yellow color and sweetness in the middle.

Mary and Danny Wolf build Wild Wolf Beer Company in their own back yard in Nellysford, Va. Since 2011, this company is one of just a few mother/son operations in the country. Their 10-acre property features an authentic Biergarten, a gazebo, a large koi pond and a working water wheel.

Traditional Healer, Strengthener Pouring Into Beverages

Whether it’s piping hot or refreshingly cold, a good beverage can do wonders for the body.

Consumers are taking a look at beverage ingredients more than in previous years, and aloe- and protein-inclusions are making waves across the category.

According to market research firm Mintel, 225 beverages containing aloe vera were launched around the world last year. This is a 7% increase from 2012. The supplement, known for gastrointestinal and immune system benefits, is a perfect pairing with honey-infused drinks. The International Aloe Science Council says that aloe can present a vegetable-like odor and taste. Honey is the perfect mask to this somewhat unappealing flavor profile.

While tea, sparkling water and flavored water are the most popular drinks that include aloe, Alo Exposed is an original drink made with real aloe vera extract and honey. The drink is all-natural and gluten-free, and it is full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It contains no artificial colors or preservatives.

Protein is another drink additive showing signs of growth across the beverage market. While protein shakes aren’t anything new, beverages with added protein are. says the ready-to-drink market is booming due in part to consumers looking for something different containing high levels of protein. The demand is particularly high in iced teas, flavored waters, smoothies and dairy-based beverages.