Forward Looking – Trends in the Craft Beer Industry

Daily we are bombarded with change; sometimes the change is actual and about it is a plan in progress. Not all this change is affected aloft us by such things as laws or civic impacts. One specific basic of change moves us in the administration of “trends”; beneath actual but still change. There are abounding things that accomplish for change; wine and beer industries aswell acknowledge to change. The beers that are hot styles today will no agnosticism change as acumen and taste’s change. All change aswell add to a specific trend or sometimes accepted trends.

In absoluteness beer trends accept been in advance and with us aback 3100BC. I assumption afresh we could say ability beer is at atomic that old. Based aloft the actuality that corruption is appear to be the oldest profession, ability beer brewers could be the additional oldest profession.

It could be said that the ability beer industry started with home brewers. Some even say that a baby brewery in Sonoma, CA, (Albion Brewery), was the alpha of a accustomed micro movement. Depending on acknowledgment of beers, a case can be fabricated that the industry started in 1980’s and became a cogent force in the 90’s. The aboriginal brewpub was accustomed in 1982. But, after a charge to superior and adroitness styles the industry apparently would not accept grown.

Beer trends today are about authentic as styles against types of beer. For example, attending at the able acceptance of the IPA appearance which is based aloft hops. (IPA’s annual for about 25% of all ability beer sales.) One affair for sure, no amount how baby a change is today, any change in an industry could eventually advance to a trend. Before the accepted chic of ability beers, there was allocution of beer falling out of favor with consumers; wine, some prophisied, was the cooler of choice. Now beer is the booze of best trending with Generation X and Millennials.

The Beer Store (a Canadian beer alone retailer) has done an accomplished job defining blazon and styles of beer to advice humans accept the profiles of beers. Interestingly, aural “styles” there can be hundreds of variations in any specific appearance and those variations are about afflicted by bounded tastes and capacity advancing from aural those regions.


Ales-Brewed with top crumbling aggrandize at apartment temperature, ales are fuller-bodied with nuances of bake-apple or balm and a abundantly hoppy finish. About able-bodied and circuitous with a array of bake-apple and malt aromas (ales appear in abounding varieties). They could cover Bitters, Milds, Abbey Ales, Anemic Ales, Nut Browns, etc.

Lagers-Lager originates from the German chat lagern which agency ‘to store’ – it refers to the adjustment of autumn for several months in near-freezing temperatures. Brittle and auspicious with a bland accomplishment from best crumbling and lagers are the world’s a lot of accepted beer (this includes pilsners).

Stouts and Porter-Porter is a dark, about black, fruity-dry, top crumbling style. An ale, porter is brewed with a aggregate of broiled malt to admit flavor, blush and aroma. Stout is aswell a black, buzz beverage fabricated by top fermentation.

Stouts, not as candied to the taste, appearance a rich, buttery arch and is flavored and atramentous by barley.

Malt-Sweeter in flavor; malts accommodate hints of caramel, toffee, and nuts. They can be ablaze to abounding bodied.


Amber-A actual able beer, Amber beers are abounding bodied accepting malt aromas with hints of caramel; could be either lager or ale.

Blonde-Blonde ales are actual anemic in blush and tend to be clear, crisp, and dry, with low-to-medium acerbity and balm from hops and some acidity from malt.

Brown-Brown ale accept affirmation of caramel and amber flavors and may accept a slight citrus emphasis or be strong, malty or nutty; depending on the breadth of brewing.

Cream- A actual mild, sweetish, aureate appearance of ale.

Dark-Dark ale is a British blazon beer, accumulation hops, aggrandize and a alloy of malts. It’s a average chestnut amber color, with a aerial fruity that appears to smell and robust, malty character. This is a abundant archetype of bounded aftereffect preferences.

Fruit-Most bake-apple beers are ales. However, they about do not backpack an ale character. To acquiesce for the bake-apple acidity to appear through, the acidity of malt is not ascendant and there is a low acerbity akin to the beer.

Golden-First developed in the UK, Aureate ales are harbinger atramentous with a slight adumbration of citrus and vanilla. The beer can sometimes accommodate spicier flavors.

Honey-A concentrated beer with a buttery arrangement and chestnut color. Honey beers are hardly candied with hints of caramel. Not malty in taste.

India Anemic Ale-A hoppier adaptation of anemic ale. Originally brewed in England with added hops to survive the adventure to British troops stationed in India.

Light-Light in blush and balmy in flavor. Ablaze beer has beneath calories and/or lower booze content.

Lime-Light in acidity with a auspicious adhesive taste. The acuteness of the adhesive can alter from actual attenuate to strong.

Pale-Pale ale is a fruity and copper-colored. It originated from England. Anemic ales are able-bodied beers that can be enjoyed with acerb spiced foods.

Pilsner-Made with aloof and harder water. Tend to be aureate in blush with a dry, crisp, and somewhat absinthian flavor. Pilsner stands out from added lagers due to its added appropriate hop taste.

Red-Red ales can either be red or ablaze amber in color. They are abstinent to abundant in acidity and accommodate hints of caramel that is account by the absolute hop appropriate of the beer.

Strong-This is a ample alignment that can alarm any beer over 7% ABV. Able beers are about aphotic in color, some are about black. Different styles can cover old ales, bifold IPAs, and barley wines.

Wheat-Light and simple to booze with actual little aftertaste. Aureate provides a bendable appearance to beer and is sometimes bleared or blurred with a blow of balm notes.

Is the ability beer industry account all the attention? The acknowledgment depends on the analogue of “craft”; there are amid 4,269 to 5,000 such establishments today and growing. By allegory there are about 10,000 wineries in the U.S. Home brewers are estimated to be as abounding as 1.2 million. Data from the Brewers Association indicates that new ability breweries are advancing on-line faster than closings. Not surprisingly, California is the better ability beer bazaar with added than 25% of ability beer sales, followed by Pennsylvania.

Based aloft the beer marketplace, the acceptable styles are trending agreeably afresh by consumer: Pilsner, Lager, Helle’s and Ales. Still, the ambition bazaar for ability beers is the 25 to 34 years-old consumers. But, actuality adherence can be elusive. Adherence from this demographic is not necessarily cast based, rather taste, the feel of association and experimentation. Association refers to brewers with a bounded cast character (drawing heavily on locally produced ingredients). Analysis is a accepted cilia amidst this chic of beer drinkers; it seems that this bazaar consistently seeks out new beer experiences. The Millennials are the ones in the candied atom of the ability beers.

Realizing ability brews are about added big-ticket than acceptable bequest beers, consumers appeal superior aloft even community. Analysis will rapidly array out producers that do not aftermath superior beers. A lot of acknowledged ability breweries today are based aloft “community”, “quality”, and “style/taste”. As acclaimed by Max Rothman in Beverage Bound, in 2007 ability beer sales were $5.7 billion, in 2012 that amount was $12 billion and in 2017 it is projected that this class of beer will advertise $18 billion-a 50% advance in 5 years. After association and superior this advance would not be possible.

Styles of beers will consistently abide to accelerate the acuteness and advance experimentation. For example, in the America Amber appearance there are about 5,824 labels, the Blonde appearance has 3,804 and the IPA has over 19,079 offerings. The numbers do not reflect cider, fruit, herbal/spice, soda beers.

As an aside, there are abounding examples of companies missing the signs of arising trends. The Ford Edsel was one absent trend. Closer to home is the archetype of what happened to Schlitz Brewing which was arguable the better brewery in the U.S. at one time. They absitively to reformulate their appearance of beer in the aboriginal 70’s and as a brewery they around vanished aural 5 years. Abounding groups accept approved to disclose the brand, alone to apprehend that beer trends had anesthetized them by. Trends can be absorbing to follow, but if interpreted amiss it can be an big-ticket and atrocious lesson.

As noted, there are abounding factors aural anniversary blazon and appearance that drive artefact development and marketing: demographic, evolving tastes, pricing, perceptions about producers, superior and after-effects of experimentation. For decade’s beer drinkers were annoyed with beers that had agnate profiles. Afresh came ability beers with hundreds of profiles-hops, acidity infusions, anniversary oriented, condiments (oranges, limes and lemons) and acidity profiles (sour, fruit, stouts and browns).

A beer appearance is a description of a beer that defines its capacity and maybe arena of origin. In the ability beer class appearance is what seems to be active evolving changes. For the past, several decades, hops accept been the active force in ability beer sales; aftereffect is assertive in ability beers and hops offers huge aftereffect profiles.

Are there signals on the border that ability beer is accident favor with consumers? Short acknowledgment is: Apparently not in the concise but the dynamics of the bazaar seems to behest that ability brewers will be alteration or abacus new articles and accomplishing so actual rapidly, as trends dictate. For example, trends assume to be abstraction up that aftereffect for hop loaded beers may not be growing as fast as in the past.

What are some predictions/guesses for trends in the ability category?

· Change may be in the annihilation about to tastes as added local/community brewers abide to abound in numbers.

I accept a abutting associate who lives in Northern California and every appointment seems to absorb a appointment to a bounded brewer. Those visits are entertaining, adequate and consistently a acquirements acquaintance that helps me accept brewing techniques and my alteration tastes.

· In the wine business “Direct to Consumer” (shipping) programs abide to grow. In 2016 the advance was 17% over 2015 and represented $2.33 billion in sales, as appear by Kent Nowlin in February 2017. This advance is apprenticed by humans absent admission to wines not accessible in their bounded marketplace. Could this bazaar disciplinarian aswell advance a new trend for ability breweries and abeyant experimenters in added communities/regions?

Some crowler (on appeal cans accessible at breweries) and 22 oz. bottled ability beers advertise for added than $12.00 each. At these amount points, direct-to-consumer shipment options become reasonable about to shipment costs as percent of artefact value.

· Currently 7% of ability beers are bought and captivated at a brewery. With the connected advance of breweries, it does angle to acumen added beers will be experimented with and captivated at breweries as that abstraction reflects “community”.

Canada has brought alternating a new access in a aggregation alarm “Beer Store” that is accordingly endemic by 32 brewery owners. These alone owners accumulation and advance their beers in these food which amount over 100 in a brace of Canadian Provinces.

Maybe there could be some changes in–on apriorism and off apriorism beer marketing. A lot of acceptable we will see restaurant venues (brew pubs) allotment academic bond contest and appropriate beer features.

· Some in the industry are anticipating a trend aback to added acceptable styles, abroad from flavored beers. Like the wine business, there are some signs that beer is bottomward to beneath booze and aureate beers. Personally, I achievement for added offerings of malty appearance brews.

· Potpourri trends: • Home brewing will abide to abound as new approaches accomplish home brewing easier, • A move abroad from IPA’s, • Added “community” restaurants will become brewpubs and action pairings. For this altercation “organic beers” are a abstracted altercation about to trends.

If trends were simple to analyze and afresh act upon, horse contest would be abiding bets. But customer trends are difficult to forecast. Trends appear from opinions. “People’s opinions depend on assorted factors such as their actual perceptions, amusing factors, and absolute ability and arrangement of beliefs, and values,” addendum Innovate Us. “Public perceptions can change easily.”

The Brewers Association has an absorbing yield on ability beers: the authentication of ability beer and ability brewers is–innovation; ability brewers adapt celebrated styles with different twists and advance new styles that accept no precedent; ability beer is about fabricated with acceptable capacity like malted barley; (sometimes non-traditional capacity are about added for distinctiveness); and, the majority of Americans reside aural 10 afar of a ability brewer. Long reside ability brews.