2017 was a crazy year for craft beer -- the number of breweries in the U.S. grew to its biggest of all time. There are now more than 6,000 breweries: double the number there were just four years ago! Hazy IPAs and Sour Ales exploded in popularity. What will happen in 2018 in craft beer?
Within the industry we’ve heard predictions that craft breweries will produce high quality Lagers and have a greater number in each package (maybe even 30 packs of cans) cutting into the Macro share even more. Sour IPAs will grow as a hybrid of the two most popular styles.
Here are some bold predictions from our writing team:
Neal’s Prediction -- “Following the craft Mexican Lager trend, people are going to to get even more into Dark Lagers like Doppelbocks, Viennas, and Dunkels. Also, if brewers continue to look to copy New Englanders for what they make well (other than Hazy IPAs) we’ll soon experience a Saison renaissance.”
Ed’s Prediction -- “They’re going to haze everything. Hazy Pilsners, hazy Ambers, I think breweries are going to try to connect this “hazy” image to styles other than IPAs. Mostly a silly idea, but it’s all about invigorating interest in beer.”
Madeline’s Prediction -- “Lagers with fruit. Also more beer cocktails. And I bet they’ll find a way to put glitter in beer (yes please!), make brightly colored beer, brew glow-in-the-dark or fluorescent beer -- basically more pretty beer! More Instagram-friendly beer.”
Talia’s Prediction -- “Specialty, locally-grown, small-batch malts will gain even more focus for brewers. In American craft, brewers have historically relied on different hop varieties to impart flavor nuances. I think brewers will dive deeper into the enhanced flavors that specialty malts can bring to IPAs and beyond.”
Dylan’s Prediction -- “More Saison/Farmhouse hybrids - the Brett IPA will get a lot more popular. There will be more international dessert sweet stouts.”
Who do you think is right? What beer styles or flavors are trending in your neighborhood? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Neal Yurick
Featured image from Side Project Brewing Facebook Page