Beer, wine, and spirits brands spend well over $2 billion on advertisements each year. Marketers and media planners are always looking for creative ways to reach those who spend a significant amount of money on alcohol.  In order to find new, diverse advertising opportunities, it’s helpful to understand the latest trends and habits of beer, wine, and spirits consumers. One of the hottest, most relevant trends is niche beverage parties.

With the rise of craft brews and classic cocktails has come an increase in parties focused around a specific drink. These include parties like beer-tasting events or a Mad Men or Great Gatsby themed extravaganza. Niche parties go far beyond just the alcohol and into party supplies, invitations, favors, and décor to create a true experience for guests.

Why does this matter for beverage brands? Party hosts who care enough to give their event a niche theme will spend a lot of time and money into planning their party. Online party planning calculators typically suggest that the host spend 20% of the budget on alcohol for parties with 5 or more people. These hosts will pay attention to your messaging, especially if it’s aspirational and makes them think it’s the only choice for their party.

Here are a few examples of hot niche party themes focused around beer, wine or spirits:

  • mad men appThe craze around the show has led to a rise of Mad Men themed parties that serve vintage cocktails, such as Don Draper’s favorite, the old fashioned. These parties are especially popular, not just because of Mad Men’s rise to fame, but because women are drinking more whiskey these days. Female membership of the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society has jumped to about 13%, up from 2% when it started 20 years ago.
  • More and more craft breweries are popping up all over the United States, and people want to try as many as they can. As a result, craft beer tasting parties are being seen more often on Friday and Saturday nights. The host buys a selection of beers from their brewery of choice and guests can enjoy a beer flight at the party. Some parties cast votes for their favorite brew or do blind tastings and have guests guess what they’re drinking. People are also turning to kitchen stores for beer tasting glasses and blogs for inspiration on be creative with their craft brew party.
  • Holidays such as Cinco de Mayo inherently link margaritas and corona to the celebrations industry, but the desire to throw Mexican-inspired ‘fiestas’ goes far beyond that fifth day of May. Throughout the hot summer months and well into Fall, party hosts love throwing similar parties that feature margaritas of all flavors, plenty of fresh guacamole, and even themed recipes that highlight the alcohol in marinades and more.
  • Bridal showers, bachelorette parties and other wedding events offer a huge opportunity to wine and spirits brands, especially given the high budgets for such parties. Those hosting a bridal shower want to make the event as memorable as possible for the bride-to-be, and that includes a signature cocktail, usually to match the theme. Wine and spirits brands should provide a collection of recipes for this audience, including presentation and garnishing tips, as well as decorations and even theme ideas. When brands provide this information, they make lives easier for the host, who will then become a brand-loyal customer.

  bachelorette invitation  

Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and engagement parties all have tight connections to the alcoholic beverage industry because these events offer the perfect opportunity to celebration and toast to the new couple.

When marketing to the celebrations industry, brands are guaranteed a captive, engaged audience because party hosts are dedicated to creating a thoughtful and custom experience for their guests. Brands who hone in on trends like niche beverage parties can target a specific audience that is willing to spend a lot of money to make the party a success.

For more strategies on how you can reach consumers who spend billions on alcohol for parties every year, download the free white paper today.

Posted by Katie Petrillo


beverage marketing