Craft Beer Trends to Watch in 2024

Craft Beer Trends to Watch in 2024

Craft Beer Trends for 2024

As craft beer enthusiasts, we are constantly on the lookout for what’s next in the vibrant world of brewing. This year, we’ve seen brewers push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, bringing forward bold flavors, sustainable practices, and surprising collaborations that have captivated our taste buds. Here are the top craft beer trends to watch in 2024.

1. Rise of Non-Alcoholic Craft Beers

Non-alcoholic (NA) beers have been gaining traction over the past few years, and 2024 is poised to see an explosion of options in this category. Brewers are perfecting techniques to brew NA beers that retain the complexity and depth of their alcoholic counterparts. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, alcohol-free no longer means flavor-free. This trend caters not only to health-conscious drinkers but also to those looking to enjoy beer flavors at any time of the day without the effects of alcohol.

2. Local and Hyper-Local Ingredients

Sustainability continues to be a key focus, and more breweries are turning to local and hyper-local sourcing for their ingredients. This practice supports local economies and reduces the environmental impact associated with transportation. Expect to see more beers proudly advertising their use of local grains, hops, and adjuncts like fruits and herbs, which can also provide unique, regional flavors that set these brews apart from the pack.

3. Experimental and Hybrid Styles

Brewers are not just sticking to traditional styles; they are increasingly experimenting with hybrid beers that blend the lines between established beer categories. Think lagers with ale-like hopping levels, or stouts brewed with wild yeast strains typically used in sour beers. This experimentation is also seeing the rise of ‘fusion beers’ that incorporate elements from different brewing traditions, culinary techniques, or even other beverages like cocktails and wines.

4. Revival of Historical Styles

While innovation is key, there is also a growing interest in historical beer styles that had previously fallen out of favor. Styles like Gruit, made with herbs instead of hops, or traditional farmhouse ales from various European regions, are making a comeback. These beers offer a glimpse into the past and celebrate the rich history of brewing.

5. Craft Maltsters on the Rise

As craft brewers look to distinguish their offerings, there is an increasing focus on the role of malt in flavor profiles. Craft maltsters are popping up, offering malts that are not only locally sourced but also crafted to provide unique colors, flavors, and aromas. This trend is pushing brewers to explore new malt varieties and push the envelope on what malt can contribute to beer beyond the basic foundation.

6. Sour Beers Continue to Sour… and Evolve

The sour beer category continues to expand, with more nuanced and complex sour offerings hitting the market. Brewers are moving beyond basic kettle sours into more sophisticated fermentation techniques, including mixed fermentation and the use of wood aging to introduce deeper flavors. Additionally, the use of non-traditional fruits, spices, and even vegetables in sour beers is on the rise, creating endless possibilities for innovation.

7. Eco-Friendly Brewing

Finally, sustainability isn’t just about local sourcing. Breweries are increasingly adopting eco-friendly practices across their operations, from solar-powered breweries to water reclamation and waste reduction techniques. Consumers are more conscious than ever about their environmental impact, and supporting breweries that share these values is becoming a significant factor in purchasing decisions.

As we continue through 2024, these trends suggest that the craft beer industry will remain as dynamic and exciting as ever. Whether you’re a brewer or a beer lover, there’s much to look forward to—new flavors, old classics revisited, and innovative practices that make us proud to be part of this community. Here’s to another year of great beer and great company! Cheers!

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