In the industry, that is. Here are the latest trends to know.
If you want to craft your own ice colds, head stateside and sign up for a Beers Made By Walking programme. Ideal for the confident home brewer with a thirst for something different, the event allows brewers to go on nature hikes and craft beers using the plants they’ve foraged along the way.
Seasonal produce play a big part, as can be seen with participating brewery Elevation Beer putting out a porcini mushroom ale in the fall, and Fonta Flora experimenting with one made using sunflowers.
No longer just the vessel of choice for supermarket staples, cans are becoming increasingly popular with craft brewers despite the less romantic packaging. Practical reasons include beer staying fresher longer and greater portability. The rise of eye-catching designs has also caught the attention of potential customers. Dale Katechis of Oskar Blues Brewery has also compiled a coffee-table book, Canned!, that details the artworks of 600 modern beer cans from 40 states in the US.
Session beers (beers with low alcohol content) are no doubt enticing more people to dip their toe into the intimidating world of craft beer. But for the seasoned palate, the strength and complexity of barrel-aged beers, which often come in at 9 per cent ABV and above, are far more exciting. A variety of barrels have been used, including bourbon, wine and neutral oak, and it can take anywhere from six months to a year of ageing – truly putting the “craft” in craft beer.