Trends within the ever-growing beer industry seem to come and go quickly these days. The industry has to respond to and excite people’s palates as more and more people develop an interest in beer. Here are some of the trends that will likely direct the industry this year:

To be, or CBD?

CBD infusions are taking over almost every kind of product these days, and it’s widely available practically everywhere. It’s legal to sell CBD oil in all 50 states now, and so there’s really nothing in the way of a meteoric rise. The health benefits of CBD oil in general stretch to pain relief and controlling anxiety – whether these properties are present in CBD-infused beers is a point of some contention, but there are likely enough people that want to at least see for themselves. Billing them as hangover-free beers might be stretching it a little, but nevertheless they’re likely to be popular.

Coffee is for boozers

If people’s beer appreciation is becoming ever more refined and sophisticated, it’s fair to say that coffee tastes are not far behind, and most cities are seeing increases in coffee shops selling more and more exotic and esoteric blends. A definite crossover is beginning to evolve, as the Venn diagram of craft beer lovers and coffee aficionados has a larger and larger area of crossover. Not only are more coffee-forward flavors finding their ways onto the beer selections in bars, but some beer companies are starting to produce their own coffees – a trend that looks likely to grow even more.

It’s time for wine

Selling beer to devout wine lovers seems like an uphill battle, but this year’s trend towards more wine-forward beers could be the kind of salvo that makes a dent in the wine market. More brewers are starting to look at grapes as a fruit that they can use in their beers, getting beyond favorites such as strawberries and lemons, making for interesting wine/beer hybrids. There are also some techniques that brewers are borrowing from wine producers, particularly barrel aging, some even going so far as to barrel age their beers in wine barrels.

Shouting lager, lager, lager

Lagers are one of the world’s more accessible, easy-drinking beers, and for this reason there’s been some entrenched snobbery about producing them from craft beer makers. Thankfully, this is falling away and there’s a renewed interest in making craft lagers. Producing this new generation of lagers has two notable benefits for any craft beer brewer. Firstly, it could potentially lure beer drinkers who usually order an everyday, simple beer from one of the global brands but who want to change things up a little. Secondly, a simple lager could be the gateway drink that recruits a new fan of craft beers, gently leading the drinkers into trying the rest of the breweries’ offerings.

High demand for low-calorie

The healthier outposts of the beer world have been around for a while, but this year should see a real uptake in both offerings and consumption of low-calorie and low-carb beers. The very rich IPAs and stouts have enjoyed their respective times in the limelight, but expanding waistlines and body-consciousness should see tastes shift. Also, with interest in beers in general on the increase, people want to try more and more varieties, but you can only drink so many calorie-filled brews before you need to think about your diet, and that’s where these drinks will come in, hopefully not sacrificing flavor for healthiness.

Side Hustle Brews

No matter which trends prevail, we at Side Hustle will always be inspired by fresh, local ingredients and driven by our reverence for the process of beer making. Follow us on Instagram for the latest information on our upcoming releases and events.