2019 looks like it’s going to be another big year for the ever-growing Craft Beer industry, with over 7,000 breweries in the U.S alone and a 1000 more planned to open in the year to come.
But, as with most things, the new year brings in new milestones to hit, new goals to aim for, and new resolutions to strive towards. Whether you’re in the industry itself or someone that enjoys the taste of a local IPA, here are the three most exciting changes you should be looking out for in 2019.
Cannabis and Craft Beer – a Match Made in Heaven?
Recently, Anheuser-Busch InBev, otherwise known as the largest brewery in the world, announced that they would be partnering with Canadian cannabis company Tilray.
It seems that Anheuser-Busch is looking to position themselves at the forefront of the world’s changing attitude towards marijuana use by working together with Tilray. Each company has already pledged to invest to $50 million each in research towards the creation of non-alcoholic drinks infused with THC and CBD, the two active ingredients within marijuana.
However, Anheuser-Busch is the only the latest in a long line of major breweries looking to capitalise on the growing cannabis market. Breweries such as Constellation Brands, Molson Coors, and Lagunitas have already jumped on the cannabis-infused band wagon.
For the craft beer industry, which has traditionally always been one step ahead over their traditional cousins, this presents an exciting opportunity. With a total of 36 U.S states already legalizing cannabis, and recreational cannabis use legal in Canada, be sure to expect local breweries to be releasing their own CBD or THC infused beverages soon.
The Industry Gets Sweet
Craft beer lovers nothing if not always looking to push boundaries and the industry is more than happy to respond to those ever-evolving tastes.
As we enter 2019 you can certainly expect to find craft beers becoming sweeter and sweeter. As craft beer becomes more popular, more and more customers are looking past bitter stouts and pale ales and opting for fruitier flavors.
While the lovers of bitter and heavy flavors certainly have no need to worry about their favorite flavors disappearing anytime soon. You can expect to see more Pastry Stout blends, fruit-laden New England IPAs, and sweet German-style beers to be entering the market.
As craft beer continues to grow in popularity and brewers continue to experiment with different flavors and techniques. All of this tells us that 2019 will be a year where we’ll see what the tipping point is for the craft beer market.
Craft beer gets even more international
While America still remains the mecca for all things craft beer, other countries have also begun to take notice, and most importantly, inspiration.
The number of breweries in countries such as Portugal, France, Spain, Korea, and Japan are growing at an astonishing rate. For example, two years ago Portugal only had two major breweries, today they have over 70 craft breweries.
With some of these international breweries producing some excellent craft beers, many notable breweries have expressed an interest in incorporating the techniques and ingredients from other countries. With the pursuit of innovation being such a cornerstone of the craft beer industry, it’s no surprise that many are seeking to collaborate with their foreign counterparts.
That means customers should be on the lookout for the growing section of international craft beers at their local retailer or their next beer festival.
2019 is shaping up to be a big year for craft beer. As local and international brewers continue to set their sights on continuing to evolve and push the envelope on what makes and breaks a craft beer. All of this signals to us to be a banner year for all craft beer lovers.