Friday, 5 January 2018

Ring in the new

Before Christmas, the Morning Advertiser published a piece entitled What are the major beer trends for 2018? The ones it listed were:
  1. Higher ABV
  2. Double IPA
  3. Sour beer
  4. Non traditional
  5. Imperial stouts
On reading the article, it becomes clear that it is basically an extended advertorial for craft beer distributor Eebria. Had it referred to “major craft beer trends” then it might have been more accurate, although I’d say even within the sphere of craft (however defined) most of these are pretty niche.

But what it certainly isn’t is a prediction of the major trends in the overall beer market. I doubt whether any of then will have much impact on what’s on the bar in your average Wetherspoon’s, let alone the Jolly Crofter. And the general trend in the beer market continues to be to reduce strengths, not increase them.


  1. Yes, just a press release masquerading as news without MA even attempting to put an angle on it. We shouldn't be surprised seeing as that's where most of their 'stories' come from. The beer market is becoming polarised into segments neatly encompassing all of the above beer styles, drunk by the craftorati, and what the man on the Clapham omnibus drinks.

  2. The other Mudgie !5 January 2018 at 12:33

    The trade press and craftorati who are now most vocal in CAMRA only seem interested in extreme beers.
    We never hear of 'the ordinary drinker' in 'the ordinary pub' but I would be interested to see an extensive Proper Survey of ALL pub goers, users of a London hipster's "craft bar" to a northern "shit hole", offering three beers ( maybe John Smiths Smooth, Marstons Pedigree and an 8% Double IPA )to discover the actual percentages that prefer each type.

  3. The MA is a bit of a joke tbh, just one big advert, which I suppose it's meant to be.
    Can't trust anything in it. Owned by Sky now I think?

  4. Lazy journalism producing articles from press releases and Twitter ? Surely not. Thank goodness for Pub Curmudgeon.

  5. That list is exactly what we have seen over the last year in the US craft scene. Who knows what they will find next. I can't count the number of times in the last year I have heard someone say "I love these sours." What counts for "Non traditional?"

  6. I like all of those five items listed... but not to the detriment of any other beers (well, maybe certain lagers). :)

    My favourite go-to beer currently is a 5.5% ESB, and I wish at times it was lower in ABV as I can drink the bloody thing like candy.

    I also wish they'd start making some decent lower ABV beers over here in North America for enjoyment when out at a pub/bar. Most beers here under 5% at a bar/pub are (insert big brand name here) 'lite' beers (shudder), usually so cold you can pick little bits of ice out of them. (sigh)

    At a brewpub yesterday I had a pint of a malty Weizenbock. Seeing as how I had a 90 minute drive ahead of me to get home I had to forgo a second pint.

    And while I enjoy the occasional sour or double IPA or Imperial Stout, that's strictly an end of the day beer for the most part (or, at times, when I don't want to drink too fast; re - my favourite ESB). :)

    So; trendy? Maybe. But not the bloody be all and end all.


    PS - if this post rambles it's partly because I brought more of that that 7.5% Weizenbock home in a Growler jug (64 oz) and I'm halfway through my 3rd pint of it, after having three pints of a 5.5% 'Artisan' IPA this afternoon. :)

    1. Taking beer home in jugs is killing English pubs, Russ.

    2. That's that butterfly effect thingy in action isn't it?

      I take just over 3 pints of beer home in a jug, in Canada, and poof! Beer sales in English pubs takes a nose dive. 🤔😉

    3. Whether you drink your beer in the pub or take it home with you in a growler you're still buying it from the same pub.
      Killing English pubs ? What utter bollocks.

    4. The other Mudgie !8 January 2018 at 10:11

      I wouldn't want this discussion to get bogged down with defining everything but "growler" is one of those words that has different definitions depending on which side of the Atlantic one resides !

    5. Only if you're 12 years of age.

    6. I think Martin's comment is being taken *far* too seriously here. And, to me, a "growler" is a small pork pie, not a take-home beer container.

    7. The other Mudgie !8 January 2018 at 12:52

      Ah, maybe up north a small pork pie is a euphemism for a beaver !
      ( With apologies for digressing from "craft" beer )

    8. "I think Martin's comment is being taken *far* too seriously here."

      Agreed. We never take anything Martin says seriously. :)

      "And, to me, a "growler" is a small pork pie, not a take-home beer container."

      Noted. I'll try to steer clear of 'fanny' then as it's 180 degrees different over here. :)


  7. "and what the man on the Clapham omnibus drinks"

    The Clapham/Battersea area is quite expensive these days too isn't it? ;)

  8. Clearly beer bubble trends not wider trends trends article and of limited interest because of that.

    However "Craft" has emerged into the mainstream sector as a distinct set of products available in most mainstream pubs. When Spoons stocked Sixpoint cans many thought it was a fad that wouldn't last but now you can find a Punk IPA in almost as many places as you can find a bottle of Budweiser. Craft appears to mean hoppier more concentrated tasting beer rather than any association with small batch or craftmanship for those still seeking the elusive definition. I don't see the fad disappearing, it's a niche that will stay and service the same type of people that 20 years ago were serviced by choosing cask over mass market keg.

    1. You're quite right - words mean what people actually use them to mean, not what other people think they should mean. And it's something that stands in clear opposition to "real ale" with all its connotations of "twiggy brown bitter".

      But only #2 "Double IPA" is really of much relevance to that particular view of craft, and people aren't really going to be sinking that much 9% stuff.

    2. I'm glad you're seeing through the PR spin....I won't be deviating from my favourite beers at the whim of a spin doctor...


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