5 Predictions for the 2016 Craft Beer Industry

18/01/2016

In January we tend to reflect on the past year and think about what's in store in the coming year. It's certainly been an interesting 12 months for the craft beer industry and here are 5 trends we think you'll see in the next 12.

1. Continued growth of UK craft brewers

The British craft beer market has exploded in the last few years. It's reported by The Beer & Pub Association that there are now over 1700 breweries in the UK. An impressive figure, considering it was just 800 breweries back in 2010! This has not only boosted the British economy and brought more employment, but it's also brought about a huge range in the British beers available on the market.

We agree with Beer Sommelier Sophie Atherton:

"I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be a beer drinker. The variety of beers brewed in the UK today is world class and lends itself perfectly to showing off what a versatile a drink beer is."

We think we can expect to see this pattern in breweries opening continue as the passion for quality beer continues, leading to an even greater range of British craft beers. Which will satisfy the growing demand for quality, small batch beers with the British beer drinker.

2. Further acquisition of established craft breweries by global brewers

No matter what your thoughts on craft beer Vs main stream beer, the big players are not going away anytime soon. UK brewers, Meantime and Camden Town hit the news in 2015 after being bought by SAB Miller and AB Inbev, respectively. Who will be next? Witnessing the recent acquisitions in the US, there is no doubt that there are smaller breweries around the world that are on the global brewers’ radar.

3. Growth in beer bottle shop concept

Beer bottle shops will continue to pop up on our high streets in 2016. The sheer range of beers available now from brewers the world over, coupled with the passion and demand for quality beer from today's consumer, means that we will certainly see many more specialist off licences and tap houses around. And our drinking culture will be all the better for it!

We've loved watching the success of Bison Beer and We Brought Beer to name just couple; passionate and knowledgable beer lovers bringing us quality beer from all over the world.

4. The number of US brewers entering the UK market will reduce

The British beer market has always welcomed American craft beers and has responded well to the Americans pushing the boundaries and rewriting recipes to produce some really innovative styles. However, whilst we are seeing a continued increase in US brewers, we are also, unfortunately, starting to see an inconsistency in quality.

Gone are the days of expecting a beer to be brilliant just because it's an American 'craft' beer. The increased competition amongst American craft beers trying to break the UK market will also see some US brewers withdraw due to a lack of support from partners in Britain. So while we'll continue to see the best America has to offer; they won't all succeed in the UK if they're not up to scratch. It's imperative to us to only work with the very best beers on the US market. And the UK beer drinker is too discerning and educated to accept any less.

5. US craft beer will see strong growth outside London

The consumer has become a far more educated drinker in 2015 and we’ll see an increased demand for quality, small batch and artisan products in 2016. Craft beer bars will be popping up everywhere you look this year, bringing with them a wide range of US craft beers as American brewers are a big part of creating the boom and a big hit with the public.  

You can find some amazing bars in most cities and towns throughout the UK these days. We share some of our favourites each month on our blog and via Twitter with #wheretodrinkin.

We’ll also see American inspired smokehouses and BBQ restaurants continue to establish themselves outside of London. The more we see of these, the more we will see of US craft beers which are the perfect food accompaniment. The British love their meat and beer almost as much as the Americans do!

What trends do you predict for 2016? 

 


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