Paul Mallory of Black Diamond Brewing Co., Robert Garcia of Tap It Brewing Co., Matt Marino of Joseph James Brewing Company, Inc. and self-described beer nerd Andrew Sparhawk discussed the new trends emerging in the craft beer industry to a standing room only of eager attendees at the resent Nightclub & Bar Show.
Many in the packed room were diligently taking notes, fervent to learn at the feet of those who have struggled and succeeded in craft brewing.
The Brewers Association is the largest association of brewers in the US and defines craft beer as being small, independent and traditional. The expert panel gave those looking to get into brewing fantastic advice, such as not being intimidated by the thought of giving craft beer brewing a go, keeping the beer fresh and the lines clean and not being a snob about beer.
As far as trends in craft brewing, searches for craft beer are growing exponentially. Robert from Tap It says canning has become a trend as it offers lower overhead and uses less energy when recycled than glass. Paul from Black Diamond believes that the stigma of beer in cans has been broken, a trend driven by consumers.
In addition, the entire panel agreed that keeping things local and supporting the community is an important trend in craft beer. Therefore, make sure that you carry at least one if not more local brews to attract customers.
Paul also had the following to say about the juggernaut of popularity that is the IPA: “I always say that the next trend after IPAs is more IPAs,” so look for more of this hoppy goodness to be offered at bars across the country,” and if you’re not offering a great selection of IPAs then you’re behind the ball and will lose business to your competitors.