As you may have noticed, beer is quickly becoming one of the most trendiest drinks out there. With an ever increasing number of brewers producing beer styles for all tastes, it’s not uncommon to see trends come and go in the beer world.
It’s mid summer now in the northern hemisphere, and that means longer days and warmer temperatures. This correlates to increased beer consumption and the emergence of new trends that brewers are eager to act upon. As such, here is an overview of some of the more popular summer beer trends we’ve heard about this year.
1. Fruitier beers
During the summer months many beer drinkers look to lighter beers like Lagers and lighter colored Ales that are easy drinking. Brewers are more than happy to oblige, but one thing many have been doing is releasing a seasonal beer that incorporates local produce which in many cases is fruit.
True, fruit beers are not a new thing, especially in Belgium and the Netherlands where beers like Kriek and Framboise have been drunk for centuries. The thing is, these beers are heavily flavored by fruit. Many of the newer craft seasonals use fruit to add a light flavor to their beer.
I came across two great examples of this while I was in Canada recently: Phillip’s Raspberry Wheat Ale and Big Rock’s Juniper Berry Mild Summer Lager. Both of these had fruit used in the brew, but were not full on fruit beers. The offering from Phillips tasted like someone put a few fresh raspberries in a filtered wheat ale while the one from Big Rock tasted like gin had been added to the beer – juniper berries are the main flavoring ingredient in beer.
It really feels like every US brewer has a beer with fruit in it these days. It’s so popular in the US that the big brewers like Budweiser have been getting into the game as well. Budweiser for example produces Bud Light Lime which is their standard Bud Light beer with lime flavor added. Sadly these aren’t available in Thailand yet, but you can bet that the number of fruit flavored beers available here will increase.
Another great example of fruit and beer comes from Germany. Go into any bar, or store, in Germany in the summer and you will see Radler – a mixture of fruit juice or lemonade and beer. I had a Stiegl Radler recently and it was perfect in the heat. While it’s not widely available here, try making one yourself: Take equal parts Lager, grapefruit juice and soda water, and mix them together.
2. Taster packs
Because beer has become so popular, and many craft brewers brew more than two or three different types, it can be tough to get people to try all of the flavors. So, many brewers release mixed cases of beer. These cases usually have 2-3 popular brews and one seasonal or special beer that is only available in the case.
As it turns out, these mixed cases have proven to be incredibly popular, largely because the cases offer different types of beer. This allows you and your friends to try beers without having to invest a lot of money.
What’s great about the way Wishbeer is set up is that you can easily put together your own taster pack!
3. Collaboration beers
The craft brewing community, while competitive, is also quite close. Many of the brewers know each other well and have been known to come together from time-to-time to work on a beer together. Take for example Birra Del Borga, they worked with the infamous Dog Fish Head to produce a unique Lager – My Antonia.
These collaboration beers are popular because they usually encapsulate the main style of both brewers. Essentially, you get to try a beer from two brewers for the price of one. These collaborations have really taken off in the US, and we touched briefly on this in the last article. Sierra Nevada, along with 12 other brewers got together and produced 12 different craft beers, releasing them in the Beer Camp pack.
While we likely won’t see the Beer Camp pack in Thailand, there is an increasing number of collaboration beers being made available here. So, if you are looking to try something different, give these beers a try
4. More craft beer in cans
Generally speaking, craft beer is always released in a bottle. Over time, we have come to see a bottled beer as being superior and some people will turn their noses up at canned beer. The thing is, many craft brewers are finding that cans are cheaper and keep beer fresher longer. Not to mention the fact that beer in cans won’t become skunked from exposure to light.
This means that a number of brewers are starting to release beers in cans. We bet that over the next few years, we will see an increased number of beer in cans available here in Thailand. Just remember that beer in cans will taste the same, if not better than in the bottle, so be sure to give it a try.
5. IPAs, and IPLs, and IPRAs, Oh my
There is little doubt that the India Pale Ale has become the beer style of choice in the US. Almost every single brewer – large and small – brews at least one now, and demand is still growing for these hoppy, refreshing beers.
So much so in fact, that brewers are starting to branch out and “India Pale” everything. Take a look for India Pale Lagers, India Pale Rye Ales, India Pale Dark Ales, India Pale Imperial Ales and more coming to Thailand soon. Each of these will be highly hopped, but different from the standard IPA, and well worth the try.
What do you think some popular beer trends are here in Thailand? Let us know below!