It’s that time of year again, ‘tis the season for 2018 craft beer trends! Once again I have been scouring the internet, polling the Beer Ladies, and scanning social media to bring you a list of some awesome beer hopes and predictions for this upcoming year. So without further ado, here are the craft beer trends we’ll be seeing gaining strength in 2018:
I love collaborations. When done correctly, they combine the strengths of each brewery to create an all-around original and delicious pint. Perhaps it’s the creativity from one with the technical execution of another, or a brewery’s famed style with an influx of bold flavours from another.
Collabs aren’t even just between breweries, with bands, artists, writers, among others, getting in on the act. Whatever the exact combination, collaborations can produce some serious brews.
We have already had an influx of collaborations here in Ireland in 2017, but expect more this year as breweries work together to create more interesting and dynamic beers for an ever-growing consumer group.
It’s also an excellent way for these breweries to reach customers that they haven’t accessed before, particularly with international collabs, and vice versa.
Beer to Try Right Now: Rascal’s Brewing collaboration brew with Otherkin, OK NEIPA. Made with orange peel and vanilla to help it stand out in this style category, this beer is €3.55 at Molloys.
Honing in on what makes your region great and using those flavours to make a truly unique brew is something we really should see more of in 2018. While this has already been happening to some extent, expect much more of this here and abroad.
Think gruit beers with locally grown bog myrtle or heather, brews created with in-house malts, and pints crafted with the best of local produce or artisan foods.
Additionally, and I am particularly excited about this, hopefully we will see a revival of local historical styles as interest in brewing history grows internationally.
Beer to Try Right Now: A great range to try is Ballykilcavan. It is available at limited off-licenses and pubs at the minute with plans for expansion. The Bin Bawn Pale Ale is €6 per bottle at Lock 13 and they also have another option on at the moment, an amber-style ale brewed with hops from their own garden, €5.50 on draught.
At the Ladies Craft Beer Society of Ireland holiday party we were discussing what we hoped to see more of in 2018 and hands down German-style and Belgian-style beers won out.
This is echoed in what I’ve seen online and towards the end of 2017, but I would love to see more diversity in styles: so more things like Schwarzbier, Dunkles Bock and Kölsch.
And as for Belgian beers, while here in Ireland we have definitely seen brews like Saison becoming quite popular over the past few years, hopefully 2018 will bring more and more breweries trying their hands at these delicious styles of beer like Dubbels, Tripels, with their own personal spin on things.
Beer to Try Right Now: Whiplash Beer collaboration with Beerbliotek, What Else is New? Belgian Quad with Fig: Full-bodied and sweet, a good beer for a cold winter evening. €6.50 at Drinkstore.ie
I mentioned these types in 2017, but there’s not sign of these going anywhere this year. Barrel ageing is absolutely here to stay, with more and more breweries experimenting with this process and trying new and unique combinations, as exemplified in one of last month’s beers to try.
Sours are a staple in the craft beer world, with demand always growing. I expect this year will see perhaps an influx of more complex options in the market and the inclusion of a mix of flavours.
This will be mirrored in the fruited brews.
Beer to Try Right Now: BrewDog has recently launched a line of beers called Hello My Name is… They were very kind in sending me the range of nine to try. There was a great variety, including Ireland’s version Hello My Name is Niamh, made with elderflower.
While I enjoyed that one, the real stand out for me was Hello My Name is Sofia. This is the Italian version of this Double IPA and it has a gorgeous lemon flavour, reminiscent of lemon drops, balancing out the hops nicely.
Available at Brewdog.com.
A historian by trade, Christina founded the Ladies Craft Beer Society of Ireland to have some semblance of a life outside of her Ph.D. An academic at heart, she then went on to turn her love of craft beer into something a bit more formal and has become a BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) Beer Judge.
With this background, she is devoted to educating the consumer on the history of beer styles and brewing, as well as what makes up the perfect pint.