If you’re considering more extensive food and drink market research for a restaurant, hotel or bar business, one of the key questions you may want to ask of your customers is how much they value expertise on the drinks served. While the wine sommelier has been a mainstay of high-end and luxury restaurants for eternity – identifiable consumer trends suggest that the demand is there for sommeliers for other popular alcoholic beverages.

Bookings for the Beer Academy, an organisation which offers courses in beer-tasting and beer sommelier qualifications, has seen bookings increase 20 per cent year on year in 2015, according to Bar Magazine. The sommelier course has been taken up by businesses looking to solidify product knowledge, as it offers in-depth tutoring on beer styles and food matching, which can be passed on directly to satisfy the diversifying needs of the consumer through the restaurant or bar.

The event industry has also welcomed a new cash cow into the fold, which exploits a growing hunger for craft drinks – the spirit festival. Building on the premise of the beer festival, rum, gin and, most recently, tequila all have at least one dedicated event which aims to introduce a wealth of new, exotic or world-renowned spirit brands directly to consumers.

With these consumers already actively seeking this knowledge of craft beverages, it stands that restaurants and bars need to be one step ahead of the average customer in product knowledge to retain the illusion of expertise in their field.  This knowledge of craft drinks has become a bankable asset in today’s marketplace – and is something that is marketable to potential customers through word of mouth and even through special events and new revenue streams such as workshops of your business’s own.

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