Brewing Solutions7 Biggest Craft Beer Trends that we’ve Witnessed So Far in 2018

It’s almost July! How’d that happen? Seriously, did the first half of 2018, whizz past us? Yeah, how’d that even happen? It looks like it was just now, we were celebrating the New Year with a drink in hand, and the next moment, we’re halfway through the year!

Let’s all take a deep breath to relax. Its okay, with each passing day in 2018, we’ve got better beer to enjoy! Yes, 2018 has been an excellent year for beer lovers.

Here, in today’s post, we’ve collated some of the biggest beer trends of this year, so far. Without further delay, let’s dive in.

#1: Craft Lager

Since the craft beer explosion of the last few years, the lager has been steadily ignored in favor of its cousins the IPA and imperial stouts. Yes, craft brewers and beerholics were both guilty of this. But, that was all before 2018. In the latter half of 2017, lagers saw a strong resurgence.

Yes, now craft lagers are a thing. Refreshing, crisp and cold – these drinks have gotten a makeover and are now part of the craft beer scene.

#2: Milkshake IPAs

Yes, you read that right! While it may sound like a dessert, they’re still your favourite drink. Milkshake IPAs are a new form of the popular New-England style IPAs. They are downright creamy, delicious and undoubtedly indulgent.

Lactose sugars are added to IPAs to make them juicy and hazy, resulting in a drink that is thick and creamy just like your favourite milkshake. It’s often supplemented with tropical fruits, fruity hops, vanilla or oats.

Milkshake IPAs have replaced the standard bitterness of IPAs. So, if you love IPAs but ain’t a fan of the bitterness, then this one’s right up your alley.

#3: Funky Beer Bottle and Label Designs

Ok, while there has always been a massive market for the arty side of craft beer label and bottle designs, the game has gone several notches up in 2018. Funkiness and creativity are ruling high in the craft beer industry. From the label to the shape of the bottle and creative marketing campaigns, craft beer is winning hearts all around.

#4: Keep the SessiON On

While some craft brewers are pushing the boundaries when it comes to drinkability and the strength of the brew, others are keeping it light. This is particularly helpful when you’re out drinking with your friends. After all, no one wants to clonk out with the first drink.

Sessionable IPAs and lagers are the biggest hits of this year. There is plenty of low alcohol (and some zero alcohol beers) making the rounds in the craft brew landscape. Alcohol-free beers have now become socially prominent. Their taste has increased by miles when compared to the choices available just a few years back.

This year, session beers seem to enjoy the limelight, winning the hearts of beer lovers all over.

#5: Ageing is a Serious Thing

Barrel ageing is catching on quite fast in 2018. Several craft breweries all over the country and the rest of the world have invested in wooden barrels and are experimenting with ageing beers.

This increases the demand for beers that age well. And, new-age beer drinkers are looking for brews that are equivalent of aged wine.

Also, several influential chefs are switching wine for beer. In fact, more and more fine dining restaurants are including beer with their food and cheese pairing.

#6: Simple and Quality Beers are making a Huge Comeback

For the last few years, we saw a lot of funky beers with an overdose of hops or exotic and out-of-the-place ingredients. From chocolate to seafood, name any food on your plate, and you were sure to find a beer that had it.

While these crazy experiments are fun, they tire out the average customer pretty quickly. Today, in 2018, brewers and breweries are getting back to the beginning.

They are focussing on quality and not making drinks that sound fanciful just for the sake of doing something out of the ordinary. And, today’s customers have matured to be happy to have a simple beer that is of excellent quality instead of far-fetched ingredients.

#7: Sustainability is Key

With more and more people, getting environmentally responsible, new-age breweries are also taking their social responsibility pretty seriously. Brewers are now looking for innovative ways to reduce their waste generated. From reusing hops to alternative uses of by-products, the trend is significant.

In fact, most breweries today, are taking their social responsibility seriously and trying to educate their customers, and employees about adopting sustainability throughout the process.

Final Thoughts

Looking at these trends of 2018 is indeed heart-warming. Craft beer has come a long, long way since its obscure beginnings of just a few years back. Today, it’s stronger than ever before. We applaud these trends and hope that beer continues to remain the fun, social lubricant that it has always been.

If you would love to open a brewery, but not sure how to or what to do, no worries! Just reach out to our expert panel of craft beer consultants who take care of the A – Z of the process.