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The next trend in craft beer

Be it good or bad, craft beer has always had trends that a lot of breweries/drinkers like to follow. Once the initial novelty of craft beer wore off IPA’s seemed to the stage. The hoppier the better. And while that still may be true for some drinkers, I think that most have adjusted themselves to enjoy a balanced hoppy beer over a hop-bomb any day.

In my mind the next “big” thing has been oaked beers. While putting beer in oak casks has been around for hundreds of years, it was the thing to do. There were/are tons of beers that are now oak conditions. While I do like some of the characteristics that oak can add to a beer, it seems like moreover the oak barrel is there to put a “unique” spin on the beer. I am sure there have been plenty of other trends that I have missed, but I’ve only been in the craft beer world for three years now, so those trends may not of been as obvious to me.

In my mind the up and coming trend in craft beer is sour beers. I see more and more news/press releases about sour beers than ever before. It seems like everyone is starting to experiment in them. I really haven’t ever enjoyed the whole sour thing, but I can see why people enjoy it. Sour beers have also been around for hundreds of years, but it seems that a lot of craft brewers are just now taking their first steps into the style. I am all for experimentation in beer and I hope that American Craft Brewers keep turning out some of the finest beers in the world, but I want brewers to be themselves and make quality beers that don’t play towards trends.

3 thoughts on “The next trend in craft beer

  1. I agree with both of those styles that you’ve pointed out as the next potential beer trend. Oaked beers definitely seem to be becoming wide spread. You cant use the barrels for everything it seems, as some of the breweries in Fort Collins use oak barrels for longer term aging of special beers.
    I would love it if more breweries would be making sour ales! While they are not for everyone, sour ales do represent an important part in brewing history as many fermented beverages were once at least slightly soured.

  2. Haven’t really sampled many oaked or sour beers yet, but I’d agree that we are hearing more and more about the trend. I think its fine if craft brewers jump on the bandwagon from time to time -adding their own twist to a trendy style. Makes a lot of sense from a business perspective I think.

  3. Nate,
    I agree the “oaking thing” is a huge trend…or, as I like to think of it, a reversion to the past. After all, ALL beers were oaked back in the day. I wrote about the sour beer trend some time ago too.

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