In the last couple of posts we’ve taken a look back at the best bits of 2012. Now it’s time to turn around, look forward and predict five beery trends we think will be coming your way in 2013.
Prediction 1 – More breweries, more beers, more everything!
2012 was a spectacular year of growth in the craft beer industry in Sweden. It felt at times like Swedish brewery openings were keeping pace with new BrewDog bars. And that’s fast! Right now around 80 craft breweries are busy mashing in and the magic 100 mark will be threatened as more make their debut in 2013.
With more craft breweries inevitably comes more beers. The major style influencer will continue to be the USA and we will start to see ever more adventurous styles released as breweries clamber to make a name for themselves in an ever-crowded market. That means more hops, more malts, more barrel-ageing, more bitterness, more cool brand names, more hype – more everything!
Prediction 2 – 2013 – the beginning of the end for hops?
There have been rumours flying around in 2012 that we’re due a return to more ‘balanced’ beers, whispers that hops are becoming more overrated than a One Direction album. There are some who are beginning to say hops are a brewer’s easy way out, a parlour trick to create beers that sell for their IBUs rather than on their merit as complete beers.
There may be a kernel of truth in these rumours but those of you that think that malt or yeast is making a comeback in 2013 will have to wait a little longer as we’re predicting that next year we’ll see even more frivolous use of hops in Swedish beers.
Not only is a Swedish DIPA (a double IPA) scheduled for launch at the monopoly next year but we’re confident craft breweries will continue to experiment with ever more hop-forward styles like imperial red, white and black IPAs featuring obscure new hop varieties in tongue-numbing quantities.
Prediction 3 – Craft in can
For years now it’s not been a question of if but when a Swedish craft brewery will crossover to can. The only reason it hasn’t happened sooner is the huge number of printed cans breweries are required to buy at any one time, putting the concept out of the reach of practically every Swedish craft brewery – until now. Sigtuna Brygghus recently won a juicy Systembolaget listing to launch enough cans of their East River Lager in March to make the numbers add up (albeit initially via a tie-in with Åbro, which is hiring out its canning line).
Swedish craft beer in cans is not a prediction, it’s already a fact, although we may have to wait until the end of 2013 (and maybe even 2014) before we see others following Sigtuna’s lead. A six-pack of Oppigårds Amarillo anyone?
Prediction 4 – More ‘collab’ brews
We are a little surprised (and disappointed) that we didn’t see many (any?) collaboration brews between Swedish breweries in 2012. That will change in 2013 however as micros start teaming up to launch exciting new beers in innovative new ways. What would you say to Brekeriet and Omnipollo hooking up to brew a ‘Brettbuchadnezzar’ or Närke and Pang Pang releasing a limited batch of ‘Hökarängen Stormaktsporter’?
Prediction 5 – A ‘Zulu’ start-up
Let me explain. The Zulu Principle was a concept developed in the early 1990s by English accountant and investor Jim Slater that proposed if you concentrated on a sufficiently narrow subject you could quickly become a leading expert in it.
The same can be said for beer, with Brekeriet leading the way in 2012 as the country’s first brewery to specialise in beers fermented with ‘wild’ yeasts.
But why stop there? Could 2013 be the year we see a Swedish brewery specialising in Belgium beer, one that’s 100% ecological or even one that ages all its beers in casks?
Sites That Link to this Post
- Stora ambitioner med Nya Carnegie-bryggeriet : BeerSweden | januari 8, 2013