Beer and Pavement

Top 5 Predictions for Craft Beer

Posted in Beer, Top 5 by SM on January 2, 2012

My apologies for some erratic posting over the holidays and such a late top-5 this week. I want to post more often, but life and work get in the way. Still, look for a beer review in the morning to get things off on the right foot for 2012. After this top-5, be on the lookout for next week’s list which will make five predictions for indie rock.

5. Gluten-free beer will become a big deal. Whether or not these beers actually contain any gluten, it will suddenly become apparent that beer brewed for our gluten-intolerant friends will make appearances on a significant number of brewery lineups. What does this mean? Gluten-free products are hot at the moment and brewers are just trying to fill a hole in the market. Don’t look for any gluten-free brews to become flagship beers.

4. Beers that are both hoppy and sour will be the hot trend in brewing. A few beers featuring sours and the like that are dry-hopped or variations of IPA’s with souring features typically provided by Brettanomyces. Whatever this style or hybrid style might be,  it will take the craft beer world by storm.

3. One TV show featuring craft beer will succeed where Brew Masters did not. I’m not talking about Budweiser’s foray into reality TV. No. With all the DIY, foodie, and reality TV opportunities out there, it’s only a matter of time before craft beer breaks through. It could come from Lew Bryson or someone else, but it will happen in 2012. My bet is that it will happen on a food-focused network and will feature people and stories from all over craft beer, not just one personality or brewer.

2. The bubble will burst…sort of. Craft beer has shown steady growth over the last decade+ with little signs of slowing down. Record numbers of breweries will open this year. Then, a bunch of them will close. The market is fast becoming over-saturated which will inevitably lead to a lot of mediocre beers crowding shelves and taps. However, the better brewers will survive. Some breweries may even pull back and focus on regional markets. The point is that something’s gotta give. Look for craft beer to take a small step back and for a few breweries to close their doors this year.

1. Someone will brew a beer for an indie rock band. I have no basis for this prediction other than the fact that this blog seems to be picking up steam and folks are just waiting for a chance to join the coalition, preaching the gospel and celebrating the intersections between craft beer and indie rock. Which band? Which brewery? We’ll have to wait and see.

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  1. Lyrics, Libations, and Life said, on January 3, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I support all of these thoughts. I’ve had one gluten free beer and hated it, so I’m thinking I won’t really be to into this one though.

    • Zac said, on January 3, 2012 at 6:35 am

      I’ve had some of Green’s (forget which one). It’s a Belgian brewery that specializes in gluten-free beers. It was pretty decent, if I remember correctly. However, that’s the exception, not the rule.

  2. Bill said, on January 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I think New Belgium’s Clutch is brewed in honor of a band of the same name. I’m not positive, but I think one or more of Three Floyds’ limited brews or brewpub brews were done to honor bands as well. Given the explosion of Chicago breweries recently to go with a good music scene, I’m sure your prediction that 2012 will see a beer brewed for a band will happen here!

    • Zac said, on January 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      My money’s on a Wilco beer, but I’d love to see something for Sea & Cake, Joan of Arc, or Fiery Furnaces.

  3. […] In last week’s top-5, I predicted there would be some indie rock tribute beers this year. Since I want to be part of the solution and not the problem, I have decided to post five possible examples of beers that could be brewed as a way to properly recognize the chemistry that exists between indie rock and craft beer. […]


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