I thought about it, and realized there were some predictions I could make. Nothing earth-shaking here, I think they’re reasonable extrapolations based on what we’ve been seeing.
- Continued growth in the "extreme" (and out-of-the-mainstream) brewing trends.
Really, this seems like a no-brainer. This is a hot area right now as brewers are challenging the boundaries on what can be done with beer. And I don’t just mean "extreme" as in high-alcohol, super-strong beers; expect traditional styles with unusual ingredients and/or brewing processes.
- To that end, expect Dogfish Head to brew another historic beer.
Sam Calagione and Patrick McGovern will team up again and produce another historic (or pre-historic) brew, using molecular archaeology to analyze the residue of a drinking vessel (yadda yadda yadda), just like their Midas Touch and Chateau Jiahu beers. These types of stories are crowd-pleasers, but I won’t even try to take a stab at what kind it will be.
- Anheuser-Busch will continue to produce and market on the craft beer trend.
I think this is pretty much a given, considering their track record lately: Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale, their gluten-free offering, and so on. Hazard a guess? Just for grins, I’ll say that a spruce beer will be in the works.
- Beer and food, "fine beer" knowledge/appreciation will increase.
This is kind of a nebulous topic, but the gist of it is that I think we’ll see much more awareness of beer as a "fine"/complex drink along the same lines as wine, and more attention will be made to pairing food and beer (in restaurants). The main indicator will be a marked increase in the mainstream media coverage of this topic, moving away from the common "uncultured" treatment of beer.