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CRAFT BEER SHAPES DRINK MENUS APRIL 2017 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 81 T he craft beer fad is arguably over. That, however, is only because craft beer now represents a permanent and important part of the beverage lineup at most upper-tier bars and restaurants across the country. In fact, craft beer has become just as ubiquitous as the domestic favorites that used to rule the taps. And the research proves it. After considerable growth dur- ing the last several years, craft beer now appears on more than half of menus among restaurants that serve alcohol, according to Datassential. The rise in popularity of craft beer plays a key role in shaping beer menus, from an increase in variety of beer styles to more unique flavors and ingredients. Establishments serving beer, hard cider, and saison — a lighter, drinkable and some- times seasonal brew often featur- ing fruity notes — have seen menu mentions jump 23 percent in the last year, per Datassential. And varieties such as IPA and double IPA continue to become more popular, with each increas- ing their menu mentions 16 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Other beers growing in popularity in- clude milk stout (+13 percent), pilsner (+11 percent), porter (+8 percent), wheat (+7 per- cent) and stout (+5 percent), Datassential reports. 2017 BEVERAGE SERIES C R A F T B E E R A great beverage menu can no longer stand on its own without a solid selection of craft beers. By Amelia Levin Photo courtesy of Libbey Glass.