There are more than 5,000 craft breweries in the United States. The demand for craft beers means that even more people will be experimenting with their own creations in 2017. Industry officials believe that over 20 percent of all alcoholic beverages sold will be craft beers by 2020. Keep reading to learn about the 10 craft beer trends to watch in 2017.
10. New Is The Hottest Trend
Beer consumers often look for the newest flavors when choosing beer with many never picking the same choice twice. This challenges breweries to always be introducing new flavors to the market. So far, courageous beer devotees can enjoy key lime pie, prickly pear, pork, and chocolate milk. There is no doubt that even more adventurous flavors will be introduced in 2017. Those consumers who brought more than one beer a week last year on average purchased upwards of 10 brands throughout the year. Look for this trend to continue throughout 2017.
9. Buyers Prefer IPAs or Barrel-aged Beer
Those purchasing craft beers already prefer India Pale Ales (IPAs). Each region of the country has their own style preference. Beer fans in New England usually prefer citrus and pine flavors while Californians prefer craft beers full of hops. One of the hottest trends for 2017 will be the mixing of high-octane flavors with session beer. Additionally, look for brewers to keep playing with combining beers aged in barrels made with different woods.
8. Historical Craft Beers Rise Again
Those immersed in the craft beer scene will want to know more about the history of the beers that they are drinking during 2017. Just like the return to traditional cocktails, craft beer buyers will start to trace the history of the beers that they are drinking. Since most can trace their roots back to English ales, look for the market for these ales to increase throughout the year.
7. Cans Trump Bottles
In the beginning almost all craft beers were packaged in bottles. That trend has now changed with more producers than ever before putting their products in cans. Consumers prefer canned products because they stay fresher longer. Most craft breweries are happy to oblige because there is more room for advertising on a can than on a bottle. Crowlers will gain an increasing market share throughout the year as consumers want the bigger cans, and they are willing to pay premium prices for them. Mobile canning companies should see a record breaking year in 2017 as they hustle to keep up with the demand.
6. Solid Graphic Design Sells Beer
Craft breweries are always looking to add eye catching artwork on their products since consumers are always looking for the newest beers to try at home. Breweries find that this artwork helps them stand out from the crowd. Beer aficionados can find choices in many different styles including psychedelic, Cubism and geometric along with many wild color choices. While this trend may help get the beer in people’s hands, consumers are also more apt to remember it, so if the beer tastes bad they are less likely to buy it again.
5. Beer Gets Healthier
While many beer enthusiasts may not care how healthy their favorite beer is for them, craft breweries have discovered that drinkers seem to be more apt to try vegetable-infused beers. Yes, vegetable infused beers. Those looking to try a beer with some heat during 2017 can even find beers infused with jalapeños, habanero peppers, and more. However,orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit beers are projected to be the fan favorites.
4. Pucker Up for Sour Beers
There appears to be a rising passion for sour beers. A few breweries will continue to use wild yeast to make these beers. Most, however, will turn to lactobacillus. Breweries will offer sour beers in an amazing wide range of choices including cucumber lime, strawberry and orange. More breweries will start producing gose which is an unfiltered wheat beer made with old German techniques. While sour beers only accounted for 2 percent of all beer sales at the end of 2016, experts predict that figure will rise to at least 5 percent by the end of 2017.
3. Go Local for Quality
Craft beer advocates will be looking to their local market in 2017 as the industry continues to grow. These smaller producers are often using the best quality products to make their beers, and they have the passion to get up and do it every day. On the flip-side, many producers are finding that they are making more money when they are concentrating on their local markets.
2. Food Critics and Craft Breweries Join Forces
For years, consumers have been taught that they should drink certain wines when eating particular foods. The craft beer industry is picking up on this trend by teaching consumers that certain types of beers goes with different main entrees. For example, when dining on grains, then try American-amber lagers or Bohemian-style pilferers. Alternatively, pork tastes best with imperial IPAs and Belgian-style dubbels.
1. Growth in Craft Breweries Continues
There are now more craft breweries than at any time since Prohibition. While some keep looking for the industry to collapse as competition becomes too rough, 2017 will not be the year for that to happen. Instead, more people will start their own breweries during the year in the most unlikely places. Craft beer tasting rooms will draw many travelers who are looking to try the latest creations.