Forget American beer, we get better stuff brewed in Britain now
All those expensive bottles that used to be imported from America will be less attractive compared to the brilliant British-brewed equivalents. Of course, there will be some new American beers arrive which will get us all excited, but mostly we’ll shop British because they are better and fresher.
Americans finally embrace the ‘session’ beer
Session IPA has become an actual thing now and one of the best beers I drank in 2012, at GABF, was Avery 3point5 (I didn’t have the version brewed for the ‘Spoons fest). The rise of the pale and hoppy in Britain will transfer to the US and see a rise in sub-4% beers.
How many British breweries make decent wheat beers? I reckon we might see a few more in 2013 following on from beers like Magic Rock Clown Juice and Camden Gentleman’s Wit. I certainly hope that we see more wheat beers – Wits, Hefeweizens, White IPAs, and so on.
British sour beer (and better barrel-aged beers) arrives
The end of 2012 saw more sour beers start to emerge from British breweries. Most of these are Berliner-weisse-style but there are others which are barrel-aged for a long time. More breweries are also experimenting with different yeasts and Brettanomyces is becoming more common. I think we can expect more of these and we can expect the quality to get better and better. Likewise, a better use of barrels will see more beers aged in wood.
Better beer festivals
IndyManBeerCon has kicked it off and I hope there’ll be more festivals that take inspiration from things like Borefts and Copenhagen Beer Celebration. The best breweries, the brewers pouring their beers, small pours, good food. Festivals which celebrate the taste of beer not just the effects of it.
The year of the beer list
Will it finally happen? Will restaurants and bars finally kick out the crap and make more effort with their beer selection? If they don’t, they might get left behind...
Better beer in general
Pubs will move towards local brews from smaller producers and away from national and multi-national products. Even in the last year, drinking in London has changed significantly and it’s now normal to walk into almost any pub and find a decent local beer.
Use British hops!
Use ‘em or lose ‘em. British hops need more of a focus and I hope we see more highly-hopped beers using wonderful British hops to show a side of them that is rarely shown. There are new British hops being developed each year and British brewers need to support the British hop growers.
Rediscover European hops
Now that virtually every brewery in the country uses American hops, the forward-thinking breweries will look to European hops but use them in a new way (the same as they will bring back to focus to British hops) – this might be a Styrian Golding Pale Ale or Saaz IPA or whatever. These hops have wonderful fruity, intense flavour profiles and I want to see more of them.
Cask and keg...
...live happily ever after. Just shut up and just drink whatever beer you want to drink. There’s plenty of choice for everyone now.