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10 beer predictions for 2019The ultimate overview of beer trends

What kind of beers will we drink in 2019? Sour? Hoppy? Low in alcohol? Or something else? Together with 9 beer sommeliers/bloggers from Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and the UK, I looked into the big Beerwulf crystal ball. These are the beer trends and predictions for 2019!

Predictions from Holland:

Rick is beer sommelier at Het Bierplein, beer blogger and author of the book ‘Bier’.

Whether there really will be something like “the flavour of 2019'... I doubt it. Wood-aged beers have a steady fan base, there are still a lot of hard hopheads, sour beers are no longer seen as ‘garbage’ - in short, we've had it all. I think that the average beer lover just wants “a good beer”, instead of one specific style or flavour. Perhaps 'the flavour of 2019' can be best described as "taking flavour seriously again".

As far as I am concerned, lager deserves more attention in 2019. Especially the pilsners that don’t follow the herd or try to be the biggest flavour divider. Crispy hopped, ideally a 'Keller' quality (so unfiltered and unpasteurised, which is something very different than "***** Unfiltered"). This will allow the flavours from the malt - which can be as diverse and varied as the taste effects of hops or yeast - to get more attention. "Respect the malt!"

In short: let 2019 become the "Year of beer quality" - so let all (Dutch) breweries pay close attention to it! If we continue to increase average quality, 2019 promises to be an exceptionally tasty year.

 

Yvonne is international beer sommelier, founder of Bierliefde.nl and beer journalist for various magazines.

We have been calling it for a few years, but would 2019 then finally be the year of sour  beers?
In 2019, the shelves will in fill up even more with canned beer and alcohol-free/low alcoholic beers. The trend 'beer at the table' also continues: the right beer advice with a dish or even complete beer and food menus.

I am very curious what new styles and flavours we are going to see next year. At the moment, I am a fan of the Brut IPA: a hoppy IPA with a dry body just like champagne.

Predictions from Belgium: 

Sofie 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 even heard of a saison, gose, imperial stout or an oak-aged barleywine. That does not mean that people are not open to it, unknown makes simply unloved.

So I do not believe in one specific taste or flavour for 2019. In the beer world, I think the appreciation of sour beers will grow and brewers will experiment even more with this. I can only applaud that.

In general, we will already make a big step forward if the general public will discover that beer is much more than a lager, blond and tripel.

I also see an evolution in the area of ​​beer and foodpairings. More and more restaurants and chefs dare to take the step to have a menu with customised beers. However, we are not yet ready for beer to be treated as equivalent as wine. I find hope among the many consumers who are fascinated by the many breweries and their beautiful beers. They want to enjoy it at home, but also in the restaurant. 'Change is gonna come ...' sang one of my favorite artists, and I think he's right.

 

Luc is beer sommelier, director of the Brussels Beer Challenge and writer for various Belgian beer magazines.

The taste of 2019 will be characterised by well-balanced, slightly bitter and easily drinkable beers. In short, flavoured low alcoholic beers.

We will also see that the popularity of alcohol-free beers will continue to grow. VandeStreek already won the price 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 will get more attention in 2019. These traditional beers deserve more respect from new beer consumers. These beers are all very well balanced. That is an important quality in beer and that is sometimes forgotten.

Predictions from the UK:

Mark is author of several beer books and UK Beer & Travel Writer of the Year 2016.

A few years ago I couldn't have predicted fruit IPAs would be popular, and after, that hazy and juicy IPAs would be popular. Noone saw Brut IPA coming either, so who knows what 2019's style will be... I think it'll contain lots of hops, primarily for their super-fruity aromas, and I think they'll be dry and more bitter than before, and maybe even bright instead of hazy. We've seen a few hoppy lagers, so I'll take a hopeful guess at big hops and clean lagers coming together in 2019 with more lagered IPAs, IPLs and hopped-up pilsners.

I'm excited by more 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.

I drank a lot of low- and no-alcohol beer in 2018 and I think that's going to continue in 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.

 

Adrian is UK Beer Writer of the Year 2017 and editor for various British beer magazines.

The taste of 2019? IPA! In all its different variations. After Brut IPA I wonder what will be next for the IPA canon? No-alcohol IPA? Oyster IPA? More new hop varieties are coming on the market, so 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 to continue in their popularity, while more brewers having a go at Berliner Weiss (probably with fruit — boo!) and possibly even more obscure old German/Dutch/Belgian styles such as Adambier, Koyt and Gruit. More use of heritage malt as well, such as Chevallier. Farmhouse/saison beers continue to be popular with a few drinkers.

The English-style IPA deserves more attention in 2019, or the original IPA. I would like to see brewers maturing the style in wooden barrels (but neutral ones, not whisky).

Others predictions: a slight revival of cask beer in the UK, but not enough to stop the decline. More breweries, but perhaps the rate of opening will slow down a bit, leading, sadly, to more closures. More breweries to move away from having a core range, as drinkers will keep asking for different beers. Less beer books being published. Beer and food matching still remaining very much a minority trend. A few more new breweries going for barrel ageing and mixed fermentation.

Predictions from Germany:

Mareike is international beer sommelier, founder of beer blog FeinerHopfen.de and beer journalist for various media.

The trend for the upcoming year will be: drinkability. As a beer journalist and beer sommelier, I’ve noticed that traditional brewers, in addition to very aromatic and highly alcoholic specialties, are switching to light, non-alcoholic and traditional beer styles: pilsner, helles or weizen. But the interpretation is modern and in no way boring! Most creative minds use exciting aroma hop variants to revive these traditional styles.

In addition, brewers are increasingly experimenting with different, sometimes completely unknown, yeasts, which produce special flavours.

I hope that in the summer of 2019 we will enjoy more sour beers. It seems this direction is justified, because it is a pleasant refreshment during summer days.

 

Nina 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 certainly still be the favourite ingredient of the experimental and creative brewers of Germany, but malt will definitely 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. Maybe some relief for your taste buds? Hop will not dominate all the time and we will get a fresh experience of good malted beers from every variety.

Personally, I say: let's go back to basic. There were some glorious IPLs (India Pale Lager) in 2018 and I think we can expect even more. Yeah! But also the good old pilsner gets new, sparkling attention. There are a number of excellent interpretations of this beer style and more and more brewers are tempted to participate.

If things are 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.

Predictions from France:

Hervé is a journalist specialised in beer, international beer sommelier and one of the driving forces behind the France Beer Challenge.

We will drink IPA in 2019, but I think this beer style will not grow any more. The number will stabilise or decrease slightly. The trend of 2019 will be in the area of sour beers. I applaud that, because good sour beer deserves more attention in the upcoming year.

We also see more and more brews with locally grown hops and on a small scale, locally malted grain.

In addition, we are seeing even more collaborations between brewers. The growth of shops specialised in beer will go along with this. The number of beer festivals is also taking on great proportions, and I think that brewers will look more critically in the upcoming year to which festivals they attend to and which not.

So, what will 2019 taste like?

In summary: hop and IPA will remain popular, bottom-fermented beers will experience a renaissance (IPLs) and the rise of low alcoholic to non-alcoholic beers is unstoppable. Sour beer will also take a larger place in the beer world - especially on a sunny terrace. 

The last prediction, from Nathan Hak (Holland), our own beer journalist:

A world without IPA has become unimaginable. I predict a New England Black Brut Session Fruit IPA as the pinnacle of IPA innovation: dark in colour, unfiltered, very dry, low in alcohol, a little bitter, extra fruity from the grapefruit juice and completely full of hop-flavours. And there will be a Kveik IPA - we will hear more about this yeast.

Besides the IPA innovation, I hope we will also go back to traditional IPAs. Just well hopped beers with a firm malt base. Balance. In the end I’m sure that 2019 will be a tasty beer year!

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