Beer in 2018, As It Was Foretold

Beer Smack by | Dec 2017 | Issue #131
Illustration by Kati Lacker

We recently gazed into our Magic 8 Ball and asked, “What will 2018 bring to the wonderful world of beer?” To which it replied, “Outlook hazy, try again.” The irony wasn’t lost on us, but soon after we gained some clarity and compiled our own predictions for the upcoming year.

  • Hazy beer haters will continue to hate, just as brewers who embrace the style with quality and innovation will keep printing money.
  • India Pale Ales will unfortunately continue to dominate. Maybe 2019 will be The Year of the Lager? (Our fingers are crossed.)
  • The term craft beer will be replaced by independent (or indie) beer. Finally, terminology that can’t be co-opted by Big Beer and its minions!
  • AB InBev (ABI) will axe more employees and poor performing brands from its crafty tentacles in order to maximize profits.
  • The Brewers Association will continue to push its powerful indie message, resulting in at least one more hostage-like video reply from ABI’s The High End (its portfolio of sellouts). Unfortunately, the trade group’s #TakeCraftBack campaign will continue to embarrass itself.
  • ZX Ventures, ABI’s disruptive growth division, will continue to disrupt the industry by investing in those willing to sell their integrity.
  • Pricing has hit a ceiling, so expect to see some price wars as consumers lean heavily toward perceived value and brands that offer affordable options.
  • Beer festival saturation will force more organizers to up their game or call it quits.
  • The art of the shower beer will finally get the respect it deserves.
  • BeerAdvocate magazine will be different, while continuing to pursue journalistic excellence.

The rest of the year ahead is still murky at this time, but we’ve grown to embrace the haze and welcome the surprises it contains.

Respect Beer.