The Top 5 Beer Trends to Follow in 2016

Changes are coming to the world of beer. Here’s what to expect as the brewing business charges ahead into the new year.

#5 In the world of beer, small will be the new big.
Plenty of headlines about craft breweries merging with large corporate entities were clicked on in 2015. Brewers that started in their garage shook hands for million-dollar contracts.

There will surely be more of these types of mergers as big corporations struggle to remain relevant to an audience that’s more knowledgeable and picky than ever.

But these will matter less and less as we look to the future. Small local brewpubs will become the brave underdogs of the brewing business.

The demand for local ingredients, sustainable eco-friendly brewing, and support of local jobs will send beer enthusiasts down the street to their local brewpubs more and more in 2016.

#4 More beer will be delivered directly to your door.
Demand for craft beer is high, and beer drinkers are more educated than ever. They line up for small-batch releases, travel for “beer-cations”, and in 2016 they’ll have their choice of brews delivered right to their door.

The leader of this revolution is definitely Tavour.com. With a free membership, beer enthusiasts get access to a hand-picked selection of limited release and rare beers. Members receive emails with fact-filled descriptions of each available beer and can order directly just by replying.

The selection is changing constantly, so members can feel free to load a cart as they receive new notifications. After that, it’s a beer package delivered right to the door, hassle-free. Shipping is $14.90, no matter how many bottles you order.

When finding amazing beers curated by knowledgeable staff is this easy, it’s clear to see the appeal. Be ready to see a wide variety of honestly priced craft beers available with just a few mouse clicks.

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#3 Beer will be more expensive, but it will be worth it.
It’s inevitable: as demand rises, so does cost. It’s simple economics, but in this case quality will also be part of the equation.

In order to stay competitive in a crowded market, craft brewers will continue to innovate. That only means good things for us beer drinkers. Things like “crowlers” (canned growlers), new marketing and labels, social media engagement, and eco-friendly practices all cost money, but they’re worth it.

Brewers will continue to push the envelope in 2016, giving us the flagship brews we’ve come to love and also serving up samplers of nitro beers, sours, and local collaborations. The increased cost will help fund more experiments and competition, and that benefits all of us.

#2 Breweries and brewpubs will play a bigger role in the community.
In 2015, the United States saw a new record number of breweries. Watch for the number to continue to rise this year, as more brewers join in the success.

But, it will take more than just great beer to stay afloat. This year, smaller breweries will start hosting more community events like yoga, hop harvests, and tours of the facilities. Local shopping centers and farmers’ markets will feature more beer gardens where people can meet up and enjoy a brew.

Larger corporations will be a part of this trend too, beefing up their ad campaigns to show that beer is more than just a drink, it’s a part of the community. Big chain restaurants and airlines will start serving up a more flavorful and curated variety of beer.

#1 More breweries and styles will join the party.
And the biggest beer trend to follow in 2016 is…all of the new players joining the game. Cider will continue to play second fiddle, but will increase their reach with hopped and dry varieties that appeal to beer drinkers.

Watch for the rise of mead and beers brewed with honeys, wild yeasts, flowers, and herbs that are found locally.

Breweries offering beer lineups of sours, barrel-aged, and nitro taps will go through the roof in 2016. Beer enthusiasts will have more choices than ever.

2016 will be a great year in beer, all we need to do is try to keep pace and enjoy the ride.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

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