Matt | 12 Feb 2015
2014 has been an incredible year for craft beer in the UK and next year promises to be even better. Here are a few things to look out for...
New kids on the block. The gap between home-brewing and stepping into making beer on a more commercial scale has never been smaller. We’re expecting to see even more new breweries this year. Check out your nearby railway arches, industrial estates and even your old local. Brew-pubs (the best of which are the ones where you can actually see the beer being brewed, whilst you sip) are back in vogue.
Cans to conquer. Expect to see more of your favorite brews in cans in 2015. Forward thinking British brewers like Beavertown, Camden Town and Fourpure took the lead this year by canning the majority of their beer range and it’s likely many will follow suit. The arguments for putting beer in cans are strong, protecting beer from light, being better for the environment and most importantly (for some)… they will be better looking. Can art is going to be big, your heard it here first.
Big brewers play catch-up. The big boys can see change is afoot and want a piece of the craft beer pie. It’s going to get hard to tell who and what is really ‘craft’ as big brewers jump on the bandwagon. Ultimately the truth will be in the taste and it will be the drinkers that decide whether they buy in to what the large brewers have to offer.
Small is Beautiful. “A pint of the usual” is the kind of macho expression that you just don’t hear often nowadays. We want variety. We want smaller measures. We want higher strength (sometimes). We want bigger flavours, barrel aged beers and experimental brews. We also want beer we can pair with food and so we’ll see beer start to feature prominently on restaurant menus. The pint isn’t dead but it won’t be the dominant measure we see good beer in.
We often get asked; is craft beer a bubble that’s about to pop? Are there too many new breweries? We prefer to think of it as a foamy head on a good beer. It hasn’t happened overnight and it has been a long time coming. None of the new breweries we meet are setting up to get rich quick. They are all flat out. They are all in it for the long haul. We think the beer drinkers are too. Flavoursome beer created by small, local brewers stands in sharp contrast to the tasteless drivel we’ve been subjected to for the last few decades. Here’s to even better beer in 2015.