Gazing into the crystal ball: Predictions for craft beer industry in 2011

on 05/01/11 at 1:20 pm

Beer

Today, I have decided to gaze into my crystal ball—um, I mean, mug, and make a few predictions about craft beer trends in the coming year.

Some of these are fairly obvious while others may surprise you. I’m sure at least one of my predictions will go against the grain, because I often do that. And hey, I’m often wrong, but I’m big enough to admit that.

I’d love to hear what you think, and you can let me know by writing to me at thebeernut@verizon.net

So, without further ado, here are some things you can look for in the beer world over the coming months:

Continued expansion of high-alcohol brews and extreme beers. While a certain faction of beer aficionados and brewers are pushing for more low-alcohol, session-type brews, there is no denying that imperial (i.e., “big”) beers are still the kings of the craft beer universe. Check almost any list of beer drinkers’ favorite brews and it is usually dominated by imperial stouts and IPAs. This trend isn’t going anywhere, at least not in the U.S. And, as trailblazing breweries such as Dogfish Head and Samuel Adams continue to push beer’s boundaries, other brewers will be encouraged to follow suit with so-called extreme beers that only vaguely resemble what your father called “beer.”

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