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In 2015, we saw record-breaking feats, groundbreaking spectacles, and back-breaking stunts. We saw donuts get licked, babies get born, balls get deflated, and people run (and stumble) for president. But maybe most importantly, we watched as alcohol continued to fill our lives with joy. 2015 was a badass year for drinking, and it looks like 2016 might be even better. Refresh your memory with our yearly recap, and set your sights on the future with our exciting predictions for next year.

In 2015…

Vodka and Whiskey Ruled the World
Vodka has always sat at the top of the pig pile when it comes to sales, distributing over 72 million cases in 2015. Whiskey was close behind, selling over 51 million cases this year. The top brands are quite predictable, with Absolut, Smirnoff, and Jack Daniels pulling in the big bucks.

Tequila Is on the Rise
Tequila is quickly gaining popularity, selling 15 million cases this year, which is up almost 30% since 2010. This is SUPER exciting, as drinkers (read: millenials) are starting to choose their alcohols based on taste, age, and origin, rather than convenience and/or price.

All Isn’t As It Seems with Gin
Don’t believe what you read when it comes to gin sales. Selling 10 million cases this year doesn’t sound impressive when compared to vodka and whiskey; however, gin is making a comeback ever so slightly. The classic cocktail, a gin&tonic, used to be reserved for grandparents and Europeans, but little by little, millennials are appropriating the drink. We can’t complain.

The biggest news in the industry happened behind close doors, with the merger of AB InBev and SABMiller. We haven’t really seen effects of this in the liquor store or at the local bar, and we’d like to keep it that way. Meanwhile, craft beer is still growing, with Yuengling and Boston Beer (Sam Adams) as the two largest craft brews.

In 2016…

Drinking Will Get More Colorful
Flavored spirits, most notably vodka, will step out from the shadows and gain some credibility. We’ve seen it begin with Deep Eddy’s, and are excited to see who will follow in their footsteps.

Quality over Quantity
Drinkers will pay more attention to the quality of their drinks. This began with the emergence of craft beer, continued with the whiskey renaissance, and will be perpetuated by who knows what. But in any case, we can’t wait.

Hometown Love
Get local or get out. That’s what we’ll be hearing in many industries this coming year, and the alcohol industry is no exception. While certain drinks come with origins, (Champagne, Tennessee Whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon), we might see this lose its importance as small breweries, wineries, and distilleries pop up anywhere and everywhere.