The beer industry is one of the most important sectors of the beverage economy.
Dating back as old as civilization itself, alcohol has been a mainstay of human cultures for a very long time.
The industry has been in a steady state of evolution since its early days. From the time of crude oak barrels and primitive equipment to steel drums and massive factories, things have indeed come a long way.
And if you were to observe the trends currently underway, it becomes clear, that this evolution process of the industry continues at a fairly rapid pace.
There are indeed plenty of changes that can be observed in the beer industry, in all its many aspects.
Given in the list below are some of the latest trends in beer production and brewing.
- The Rising Demand for Craft Beer
For those who aren’t familiar with the way this industry works, there are two categories of beer; industrial and craft.
Industrial beer is the one that is produced in large quantities, for widespread consumption. Craft beer on the other hand, is the one that is produced by small distilleries, often owned by small businesses or families.
While the demand for industrial beer remains high and the dominant form of demand for alcohols in the market, there is a steadily rising demand for craft beer as well. This is especially true among certain demographics such as those who call themselves ‘hipsters’. And indeed, the same is true for those of other demographics as well.
- Ecological Sustainability of the Business Model
As with other businesses in the world, there has been a steady shift towards a more sustainable business model.
And by sustainability, what is meant here is that the model should work in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. Among the considerations here include low carbon emissions, recycling, waste management, etc.
Simply put, the industry has been shifting to a standard that allows for greater environmental sustainability than otherwise.
In fact, it should be noted that many of these standards have been brought forth in general throughout the economy, which includes, among others, a reduction in the amount of packaging, ban on certain kinds of plastics, subsidies for sustainable business practices, etc.
- Localized Flavors & Ingredients
This trend is particularly true for small or craft breweries.
As opposed to using commercial ingredients, the breweries are going local, meaning that they are using locally sourced ingredients, for the sake of both taste as well as sustainability.
In addition to this, the usage of locally-available ingredients tends to give a more interesting and unique taste, as opposed to those that are made using commercial ingredients.
- Alcohol Consumption Level Changes
Given the rising awareness of health and the negative impact of alcohol consumption, there has been a steady decline of the same.
People have started to take note of how much alcohol they consume, as well as making other changes to their lifestyle.
This has led to a rise of alcohol-free beers, which have become very popular among the health conscious. Do note here that the beers are not exactly ‘alcohol-free’, but rather that the percentage is very low, to the tune of about 0.5% or so.
- Craft Beer Creativity
Another interesting trend that has emerged is the rise of people going on a creativity spree.
While this trend is true for craft beers, the same can be observed in industrial breweries as well. Many brewers have started to tinker with the beer ingredients, so as to achieve new tastes. These changes include everything from changing the quantity of ingredients used, to the ingredient itself.
And indeed, there have been success stories of the same in several places.
- Technological Changes & Advancements
The beer industry has been in transit for quite some time now.
Gone are the days when beer used to be made in oak caskets in underground vaults. Today, much of the beer is made in large steel drums on an industrial scale. And this is also true in the case of many micro breweries as well.
The most important changes that are taking place, is a greater usage of technology to control the manufacturing process. This is true for a lot of aspects about the beer industry, which range from the manufacturing process, to that of packaging, marketing and so on.
Some of the technological changes here include, among others, the usage of automation and AI.
- Rising Demand for CBD Beer
For those who are not familiar with CBD, it stands for ‘Cannabidiol’, an active ingredient in Marijuana.
With the rise of marijuana legalization in many places, people have started to add CBD as an important ingredient to the beer, and which has yielded interesting results.
While not many beer manufacturers have taken up to manufacturing CBD Beer, it is a beer variety that has started to gain popularity.
Also to note here is that this is not something that can become a mainstream trend anytime soon, largely for one simple reason. Marijuana still remains a controlled substance in many jurisdictions, which restricts its usage to a great extent. At the same time however, this is not something that will remain the same in the future, as marijuana continues to be legalized in one place after another.
- Interest in Foreign Brews
This is another important trend that can be observed.
People have always had a taste for the exotic. It is something innate in human nature, which seeks to escape from the monotonous and mundane.
For a while, the consumption of foreign beers had been restricted to those of the upper classes, owing to their high cost. This has however changed, with the opening up of markets and rising incomes. The end result of this has been a general increase in the amount of foreign beers and beer makers entering local markets.
Last but not the least, it should be added that the above mentioned trends are just some of the many trends currently underway.
In addition to this, there are also other emerging changes that aren’t yet apparent, but which will become so in the near future.
For those who are interested in the beer industry, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for these trend changes, for they will mean a lot to the future of this sector of the economy.