Apr 25 2012

What are the Latest Trends in Brewing?

In the coming months, I’m planning to do a mini-presentation for my homebrew club about what is hot and trendy in brewing. This seems a natural fit for me, as I have restlessly yet to brew the same beer twice, and homebrewers are on the cutting edge of brewing. Sure, the majority of beer drinkers might find out about the latest trend from a commercial example, but it was likely that a homebrewer did it first since he or she can afford to pour out 5 gallons of beer if the elements and process go horribly and undrinkably wrong.

So I’m crowd sourcing now. Leave a comment at the end of this post and tell me what you are seeing as the latest trend in brewing. Are Black IPAs still a hot trend, or have they faded? We all talk about session beers becoming the next big thing, but they haven’t yet. At least not like sours or oak aging have. Using rye in beers became popular for a time, but is that a trend? Using New Zealand and Australian hops has been a fun experiment for many brewers, too, lately.

And I am straying from the word “new” in this post because I’m not sure there is truly anything “new” in the brewing world.  The Gose has made a comeback, but it probably would be better described as a rediscovery than anything new. But I definitely encourage the return of older, or simply forgotten, styles to popularity.

Frankly, brewing has become very easy with our highly modified grains, and high alpha hops, and highly efficient brewing equipment.  Perhaps the latest trend is making beer difficult to make again. Decoctions and turbid mashes don’t make your brew days any easier or shorter. We are bringing back the bacteria and wild yeasts that brewers worked so hard to eliminate over the years with a vengeance, too.

What say you? What are the current trends in beer? What will they be tomorrow? Leave a comment please, and thanks.

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