In the height of a very hot summer, consumers are mixing up cocktails – especially spritzes – and reaching for new canned drink options over hard seltzer during Fourth of July weekend. With more warm days ahead, expect even more along these lines through Labor Day. Get these and more insights from Drizly’s July 2023 sales.

The Fastest-Growing Beverage Categories in July

Big news from San Francisco brewing stalwart Anchor Brewing Company propelled beer category trends on Drizly last month; upon hearing that the 127-year-old brewery would shut its doors, purchasers seemingly bought up all the Anchor Steam they could find in July, resulting in the California Common/Steam Beer category to spike in year-over-year sales.

Within the liquor category, Chinese spirit baijiu experienced a high increase in year-over-year sales last month, let by top sellers Kweichow Moutai, Luzhou Laojiao Bainian Baijiu, Wu Liang Ye, Ming River Sichuan Baijiu, and Gu Jing Gong Baijiu. And once again, Brunello di Montalcino – the stalwart red of Italy’s Tuscany region – was the fastest-growing varietal wine year-over-year, as it was in June.

Occasion Insights: Fourth of July

In a surprising turn last year, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails beat out hard seltzer over Fourth of July weekend, pointing to the leveling off of this popular beer subcategory. This year, both RTD cocktails and light lager surpassed hard seltzer over the Fourth of July weekend, marking a reversal in trends from 2019, when hard seltzer first topped light lager as Drizly’s top-selling beer category.

Within the beer category, light lager came out on top with 20 percent share of the beer category; hard seltzer trailed slightly with 19 percent share. Overall, hard seltzer held just 3.5 percent of total share, while RTD cocktails held 5.5 percent share (up slightly from 5.4 percent in 2022). This also marks a continued year-over-year decline in share over this important weekend for hard seltzer: it held 5.9 percent of share over Fourth of July weekend 2021, 4.7 percent share in 2022, and 3.5 percent share in 2023.

In the wine category, rosé was less popular over July 4th weekend, experiencing a 16 percent decrease in share year-over-year. Conversely, the non-alcoholic wine, beer, and spirits category experienced a 33 percent increase in share versus Fourth of July weekend 2022.

Market Insights: Norwalk, Connecticut

Located along the Connecticut shore, Norwalk was one of the fastest-growing markets on Drizly last month. Purchasing in Norwalk defies national category trends; wine is the top-selling category here, rather than liquor, with 59 percent of share (compared to 35 percent nationally).

Local sales over-index on white wine and rosé compared to the national average on Drizly; white wine is the top-selling wine subcategory in Norwalk (43 percent share vs. 33 percent nationally) and rosé holds 20 percent of share, which is double the national average of 11 percent.

Drizly’s Top-Selling Wine SKUs in Norwalk, Connecticut, July 2023

  1. Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay White Wine
  3. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne
  4. Avaline White Wine Blend
  5. Whitehaven New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc White Wine
  6. Cave De Lugny Les Charmes 
  7. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc White Wine
  8. Whispering Angel Rosé
  9. Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé
  10. Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

July’s Breakout Beverage Brands

Unsurprisingly, given news of its imminent shutdown, Anchor Brewing Company experienced a spike in year-over-year sales in July. The brewery’s bestseller was its classic Anchor Steam, followed by the variety pack, Christmas Ale, California Lager, and Porter.

Tequila brand Mijenta, which launched in fall 2020, also had a breakout month in July. Its top seller was the blanco, followed closely by its reposado. Within the wine category, Domaine Jean-Paul Balland experienced strong growth, driven by the producer’s Sancerre and Sancerre Rosé. 

Consumers Are Making Cocktails

“Cocktail-making appears to be spiking this summer compared to last,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. This is indicated by the year-over-year share increase for the liqueur category, which held six percent of liquor sales share in July 2023 (up one percentage point from five percent in July 2022). Aperol and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur have both seen share growth year-over-year, likely due to the rising popularity of the Aperol Spritz and the St-Germain-based Hugo Spritz.