Trends in craft beer
Craft beer and brewing is indeed dynamic. This is not a coincidence. I actually think that changes and experimentation is an intrinsic part of craft brewing itself. These dynamic changes often lead to new trends, almost like in fashion. And although craft brewing is a global phenomenon, these trends are not entirely global. I find it fascinating to observe that what is a new trend in one country, is not at all selling in another.
We all know that modern craft brewing is originated in the USA. And the US is still the epicenter of craft brewing on this planet. They have the higher number of breweries than any other country and craft beer has a higher market share in the US than in any other country.
I just got back from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after judging in World Beer Cup and attending the American Craft Brewers Conference. As always when visiting the US it was interesting to pay attention to new trends.
These are my observations:
– IPA is still super popular and increases in popularity, but there are some new nuances in IPAs. The new trend is less bitter and more aroma. Another trend is Fruit IPA, where grapefruit, mango, pineapple and watermelon are among common ingredients.
– A couple of years ago everybody wanted sour beers. Sour beers are still popular, but recently Gose has gained new popularity and these days the focus is not only on the sour elements in the Gose, but also in the salt. What salt to add to the beer is not coincidental.
– Another surprising turn in craft beer is a local US east coast phenomenon: cloudy and yeasty beer. We are not talking about a slight haze, but real turbid brews. The brewers claim that this is about mouthfeel. One even told me that he adds wheat flour to the mash!
At this stage in Greece we do not have many trends. Allow me to say “not yet” … because surely, the Greek market will also find its “nerve” soon. That I am looking forward to.
Cheers, my friends!
Σόλο Head brewer