Nearly three in 10 adults in the U.S. are Millennials and of legal drinking age. The sheer size of the Millennial generation, (born between 1977 and 1992), makes it a crucial demographic for the adult beverage industry.

Part of Technomic's Trends in Adult Beverage series, the 2015 Special Trends in Adult Beverage Report: Millennials provides key demographic information about this generation and in-depth analysis of Millennials' interactions with adult beverage categories, brands and suppliers. The report provides insights and actionable implications around Millennials' alcohol purchases on-premise and at retail.

"In many ways, Millennials are ideal adult beverage consumers," observes Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic. "They are open and willing to learn about new styles and flavors of beer, wine and spirits. They are frequent consumers in many retail and restaurant settings, where they balance exploration and trial with loyalty to a few favorite brands that deliver on flavor, quality and price."

Some key findings from this follow-up study show how catering to Millennials' thirst for adult beverages can tap maximum profits for retailers, restaurant operators and bar proprietors.

Equal opportunity imbibers: Millennials are likely to purchase adult beverages at a variety of retail and on-premise venues. This group is also open to engaging in all three adult beverage categories—spirits, wine and beer—as well as a range of different types and flavors of alcohol drinks.

Age brings sophistication: As Millennials age, they are more inclined to buy craft beer and to have a more evolved palate for exploring different varietals and regions of beer and wine.

A propensity to drink multiple types of adult beverages on a single occasion: 30 percent of Millennials consumed more than one type of drink on their most recent on-premise occasion. Primary reasons for switching were a desire to experiment with different beverages or flavors or to try a new drink.

Balancing adventure and loyalty: Historically adventuresome in their drinking habits, Millennials continue to explore, especially in on-premise settings, as they mature. They transfer their new discoveries from restaurant experiences to their retail buying decisions while also balancing curiosity with loyalty to some tried-and-true brands.