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Roundtable Discussion: Predicted Beer Trends for 2014

Roundtable Discussion: Predicted Beer Trends for 2014
Katharine Clark

New year, New Beer. Now that we’ve gotten through most of what we loved and hated of 2013, we have to look to the future in craft beer. What new beers styles will gain momentum? What about pairings? Other trends that will emerge triumphant in 2014? As with any good beer topic, the PorchDrinking Staff discuss. I just wonder if we should make it interesting and put money or beer on these predictions?

Roundtable Discussion!

Erin Petrey

“Beer ice cream and beer cocktails. I know these are already happening in some places, but I think they will definitely grow in popularity. I am not really sure what will be the next big stylistic move.”

Tristan Chan

“I’ll be diving deep into a full post about this later on but I think the IPA crazy has plateaued. I don’t necessarily see IPA’s waning too drastically but I think people are looking for the next new exciting thing in beer, which in my belief is Sours and a return to old recipes like Kentucky Commons.”

Adam Solarz

“One thing I’ve seen recently that is brand new to me is alcoholic ginger beer, either on its own or to add even more punch to your moscow mule or whiskey ginger. Have a feeling these might be huge in the coming summer. I will try to get my hands on one as far as real beer goes, I think we saw barrel aging blow up and then moved on to sours in 2013, so my prediction is that folks are going to start fusing the two more and more. I know lagunitas did that and jester king, and im sure others. 2014 is the year of sour, barrel aged stouts”

Cory Pelc

“Litigation and settlements for names of breweries and names of beer. Craft breweries competing each other for shelf space, and investment from folks who could care less about beer and just want to make money. Craft beer and the culinary arts will merge more now than ever. The development of the neighborhood brewery/nanobrewery and/or brewpub especially in beer cities where the little guys are going to have to find their niche and compete with the established breweries in the scene.”

Justin Vicroy

“I’m with Cory. I believe the “neighborhood brewery/brewpub” will be the next big thing. They’ll be highlighting craft beer & finer foods, not just a burger & fries joint. I also think that they will be stylistic breweries, for example English Ales or German lager houses. Before Prohibition, they were about 4000 breweries (guestimation based on wiki &; now we are just creeping back up to 3,000 (again rough estimate based on, wiki, & other sites).”

Brad Hartsock

“In the vein of the business aspects I think you’re going to see some natural attrition from small breweries that cannot compete. I agree the brewpub/neighborhood brewery will trend up especially as breweries need other profit centers like a restaurant to keep people engaged. But I wouldn’t be surprised if successful small to midsized breweries with good regional bases take an opportunity to acquire equipment from places going out of business so they can expand distribution.

Likewise I agree on the sour beer growing in popularity. It’s becoming more widely known, drinkers palates are adjusting to it, and more breweries have had the time and resources to put into making them. On the flip side, I think a lot of breweries will offer nice session beers to provide more of a staple that probably has a higher margin so they can drive repeat sales.

The standard IPA might be dropping but I feel like I’ve never seen so many double and imperial IPAs in my life. I guess in the PNW there are still plenty of hop heads!”

Adam Solarz

“To piggyback – i think investors (be it larger micros or otherwise) could start to create “rent-a-breweries” to give production space for homebrewers, or, more likely, those very same restaurants and brewpubs, that you are talking about. Kind of a grand combination of brewery collaborations and the Stillwater/Mikkeller gypsy brewer strategy to a larger scale.

I have no business acumen or training, just some anecdotal evidence like Pipeworks working with the beer buyer at Binnys Lincoln Park, Local Option in Chicago contracting with Central Waters, Pub Dog, and Dark Horse, Stone Homebrew competition beers like w00t and R&R (though they were put out under the Stone umbrella), and Beachwood BBQ in Southern California.”

Lauren Hoff

“Great thoughts Clory, I completely agree on the business sense. I have already been seeing an increase in investors (and owners) who are getting into the market for the boom.

As far as what we will be drinking, we can just throw the BJCP style guide lines out the window, and style boundaries will be blown away with hybrids and other experimental beers. Also, as more and more breweries are having been opened for longer, we will continue to see an increase in aged beers. “

Erin Petrey

“We are definitely going to witness even more boundary pushing in flavors and styles. Not that breweries know there is an eager market awaiting all that is new and edgy, there is much less risk on the business side. “

Spencer Mapes

“Coming in a little late here, so forgive me if I am repeating anyones. Looking at beer styles I agree with all the comments about IPA’s and hopped out beers in general decreasing, with sours and other beer styles that push the flavor envelope increasing.

One thing I have noticed in breweries is the bartender/brewer blending different styles together. I know blends have been around just as long as beer has, but to the public I have noticed people be shocked at how good some of these custom blends have been at a beer bar. It could be something that leads to new bottled releases by breweries of some of their icon beers being blended together, or something along those lines. “

Phil Joyce

” Way to go Clory! You’re so cloying! In seriousness, more investors and investment opportunities. Thanks to recently passed JOBS act, non-millionaires can now own shares in privately held companies. The opportunity for crowd-funding has never been bigger!

More neighborhood pubs will emerge so long as they have something that sets them apart and decent beer. I’ve been many places where I wouldn’t go again for the beer but instead go again because of the atmosphere or great people I met.”

Kyle Buchanan

” I agree with a lot of the other ideas as well…but my overall belief if it has not already been stated is simply being creative with beer. Especially in regards to what the beer is brewed in. Meaning barrel aged- bourbon barrels of course, oak, red and white wine barrels, brandy and who know what else brewers can start ageing their beer in. Plus a lot of breweries are taking beers that they already make and changing it completely by barrel aging them – lots of room for experimentation. Jungle jims this weekend is having a bourbon barrel bash with over 40 barrel aged beers – very upset I cant make it to this awesome event but luckily Spencer Mapes will be there for us to report back!!

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