What kind of beers will we be drinking in 2019? Hoppy? Citrusy? Low in alcohol? Or something completely different? There’s only one way to find out, so today I’m looking into the big Beerwulf crystal ball along with some of the most renowned beer connoisseurs from 5 different countries. These are the beer trends for 2019!
Adrien Tierney-Jones (UK)
2019 Beer Trend Prediction: “New IPA varieties”
Adrian Tierney-Jones is UK Beer Writer of the Year 2017 and editor for various British beer magazines.
I think the taste of 2019 will be IPA in all its new and different variations. After the Brut IPA I wonder what the next one will be? There are more and more hop varieties on the market, and that means more fruity, juicy beers.
There could also be a bit of a swing back to less outrageous tastes, though given consumers’ continued demands for something new from breweries, maybe not. There might be also a desire for Helles, Pilsners and Kellerbiers with a more pronounced hop character.
Pastry stouts will remain popular, while more and more brewers are having a go at a Berliner Weisse (probably with fruit - boo!) and possibly even the even more obscure old styles such as Adambier (Germany), Koyt (the Netherlands), or Gruit (Belgium).
The original English-style IPA deserves more attention in 2019, and I would like to see brewers maturing the style in wooden barrels - but neutral ones, not whisky.
Sofie Vanrafelghem (Belgium)
2019 Beer Trend Prediction: "Experimentation"
Sofie Vanrafelghem is Master Beer Sommelier. She works worldwide as a beer consultant, writes for Het Laatste Nieuws, among others, is the author of 5 beer books and has been repeatedly declared beer personality of the year.
There remains a huge gap between the general public and the beer world. Most people have never heard of a saison, an imperial stout or an oak aged barleywine. That does not mean that people are not open to it: it just means that unknown is unloved.
For that reason, I don’t believe in one taste for 2019. In the beer world I think the appreciation for sour beers will grow and that brewers will experiment even more with this. I can only applaud that.
In general, it’ll be a big step forward if the general public start to discover that beer is much more than lager, blond and triple.
I also see an evolution in the area of beer and food. More and more restaurants and chefs are taking the step towards a menu with beer pairings. We are not yet ready for beer to be treated as equivalent to wine, however. I’m hopeful about the many consumers who are fascinated in breweries and their beers. It’s natural that they’ll want to enjoy them at home, but also in restaurants. “Change is gonna come …” sang one of my favourite artists, and I think he's right.
Mark Dredge (UK)
2019 Beer Trend Prediction: "Low- and No-Alcohol"
Mark Dredge is author of several beer books and UK Beer & Travel Writer of the Year 2016.
I drank a lot of low- and no-alcohol beer in 2018 and I think that's going to continue into 2019. I almost always want to have a glass of beer but I don't always want the alcohol, so it's encouraging to see more brewers making low- and no-alcohol beers which taste really good.
I'm also excited by smaller breweries trying to make classic lager styles - or almost-classic with small twists like modern hops, or styles that are regional, like Franconian-style kellerbiers. It's easy to get blinkered into thinking that everyone only drinks the newest and most unusual craft beers, but the majority of drinkers still just prefer a good, simple, pale lager. Now there are many more choices of great lagers for us to drink.
Luc De Raedemaeker (Belgium)
2019 Beer Trend Prediction: "Low alcohol beers with taste"
Luc De Raedemaeker is beer sommelier, director of the Brussels Beer Challenge and writer for various Belgian beer magazines.
The taste of 2019 will be balanced, slightly bitter and easily drinkable beers. In short, low alcohol beers with taste.
We will also see the alcohol-free beer category continue to grow. Not for nothing did VandeStreek win the prize of European revelation at the latest edition of the Brussels Beer Challenge with their non-alcoholic Playground IPA.
As far as I am concerned, classic English, German and Belgian beer styles should get more attention in 2019. These traditional beers deserve more respect from the new beer consumer. The balance they demonstrate is an important quality in beer and it’s sometimes forgotten.
Nina Klotz (Germany)
2019 Beer Trend Prediction: "Back to Basics"
Nina Klotz is a freelance culinary journalist and founder of Hopfenhelden.de, one of the largest online beer platforms in Germany.
2019 will be fresh! Hop will still be the favourite ingredient of the wild and creative brewers of Germany, but malt will also get more attention in 2019. In 2018 they said that malt is the new hops, in 2019 we will taste what that means for our beer.
Personally, I say: let's get back to basics. There were some glorious IPLs (India Pale Lager, mostly describing dry hopped Helles) in 2018 and I think we can start to expect even more. But the good old Pilsner will also get a new sparkle. There are a number of excellent interpretations of this beer style and more and more brewers seem tempted to try their own.
All things going well, we will relax again in 2019. We are going to talk about good beer again and not whether the label "craft" is earned or not. Let's raise a glass together and toast with delicious beer!
Yvonne van Houtum (the Netherlands)
2019 Beer Trend Prediction: "Food Pairings"
Yvonne van Houtum is international Biersommelier, founder of Bierliefde.nl and beer journalist for various magazines.
We’ve been calling it for a few years, but will 2019 be the year of sour beer?
I’m not sure, but I do think that in 2019 the shelves will fill up even more with canned beer, and more alcohol-free and low alcoholic beers will also be on the market. The 'beer at the table' trend will also continue to grow: getting the right beer advice to go with a dish or even complete beer and food menus.
I am very curious about what new styles and mixes we are going to see. At the moment, for example, I am a fan of the Brut IPA, a hoppy IPA with a dry body like that of a champagne.
The taste of 2019
So here’s what it looks like: IPA will remain at the forefront of the craft beer consciousness; bottom-fermented beers will experience a renaissance and the rise of low alcoholic to non-alcoholic beers is unstoppable. Sour beer will also take a larger place - especially in sunny beer gardens.
IPA is hugely important. I predict a New England Black Brut Session Fruit IPA as the pinnacle of IPA innovation: dark in colour, unfiltered, very dry, low alcohol, a little bitter, extra fruity with grapefruit juice and completely full of hop flavours.
In addition to all that IPA innovation, I hope we will also go back to traditional IPAs. Simple, well-hopped beers with a firm malt base. Balance.
In the end, I have no doubts at all that 2019 will be a fantastic year for beer.