Serious Eats sent a correspondent to the Craft Beer Conference, held this year in our nation’s capitol, and the resulting 6 Trends We Noticed at the Craft Brewers Conference is full of good insights about what to expect as the craft beer industry continues it’s precipitous growth in 2013.
CBC is an industry conference that is focussed on the nitty-gritty of bringing craft beer to market, and this year’s event had some clear trends that anyone familiar with the craft industry could guess: cans are popular, sour beer is getting more mainstream, beer-related gadgets and gizmos are a dime-a-dozen (and they love Kickstarter).
But it’s beer writer Jen Muehlbauer’s analysis of the trends, and her pragmatic urgings to keep a level head – and critical taste buds – when faced with all the excitement over craft’s growth that make the article stand-out as more than just a recap of the conference.
Here are the six trends that she identifies:
- More breweries are opening every year, but quantity does not equal quality
- The can v. bottle debate isn’t going anywhere, and craft beer will find its way into more gimmicky packaging
- Mosaic hops are the new hip hop (sorry). Citra was big last year, this year it’s the super-fruity mosaic (hunt down some Beachwood Brewing Amalgamator IPA for a taste of what the hop can offer brewers.)
- Sours are crossing over to the mainstream
- Old-World beer styles are coming back into vogue
- Industry growth means more jobs and more businesses to support the breweries are needed
Apart from the prospect of job growth and increased economic impact of craft beer, we are most excited about the new experimental hops varieties and where they will take brewers’ imaginations, and the prospect of American craft beer ingenuity being applied to forgotten classic styles. Just take a taste of the genre-defying Gosebusters from Anaheim’s Nobel Ale Works and try to not get excited about beer.
Check out the full article for more insights.