2013 Beer Predictions

January 3,2013 by 3 Comments

2013-New-YearHappy 2013 beer lovers. Last year I gave my beer predictions for 2012.

Overall I did OK. I was semi-correct that Asheville would not win BeerCity USA for a fourth time in a row. They ended up sharing the title with Grand Rapids. That NC crew is resilient.

Speaking of North Carolina, I was correct about Sierra Nevada opening a brewery there, although that wasn’t exactly a shocker. AB-InBev never did merge with SABMiller. That was my bold prediction, but I’m not going to renew it this year.

So what does 2013 have in store? I asked my newsletter readers this very question. First, my predictions:

  1. We haven’t heard the last of the craft vs. crafty debate. The majority of craft beer drinkers want transparency in who’s behind their beer, but what happens when the line between craft and non-craft continues to blur?
  2. The Great American Beer Festival will once again cause an uproar with its ticket sales, but this time it will be more expected. That won’t quiet the calls for an overhaul, however.
  3. OK, this is the year session beers will really take off.
  4. We live in the age of celebrity chefs. I think we’ll see more of them promoting craft beer to cook and pair with, which should pave the way for bringing craft beer to more high-end restaurants.
  5. The White House will step up their homebrewing efforts, including the release of an IPA recipe. We may see President Obama on a hop farm this fall.
  6. I’m with Wick (below), Mississippi WILL legalize homebrewing this year. Still a no-go in Alabama. Someone get Alvin some chivas regal.
  7. More craft breweries will start serving food. Many brew pubs will open. Why? More profit per seat. Exhibit A. Exhibit B.
  8. There will be another big trademark dispute and new breweries will panic as they realize there are no more creative beer names left.
  9. As more European craft breweries pop up, we’ll see them collaborate with American craft breweries. Mikkeller has been active in this area for a couple of years.
  10. A large craft brewery will be acquired by AB InBev. Who? Your guess is as good as mine.

BillyBrew Newsletter Subscriber Predictions

A few weeks ago I asked my newsletter subscribers for their 2013 beer predictions. Over 125 responses came in. They were all great and I’ve posted a handful of them below. Feel free to add yours to the comments.

Here’s to another great year for beer.

In 2013, I predict… at least two significant Western USA craft breweries will announce plans to build a second brewing facility in the Eastern time zone (likely in North Carolina)… AND at least one significant Eastern USA craft brewery will announce plans for a second facility in the West (likely Colorado).
– Martin

2013 will be year one of my homebrewing experience (empire), thanks to the support of Billy!
– Richard

Craft brew will continue to take market share causing more smaller breweries to get bought up by the big names. IPA will continue to test the bounds of how hoppy a beer can be. More homebrewers will create more nano-breweries. Local vs global debates will continue to happen.

At the end of the day, we will continue to enjoy our beer.
– Corey

My beer prediction for 2013 is:
1. I will be busting my butt to better develop my home brew skills.
2. Lots of barley soda will be consumed.
3. I predict that those crazy kids in the UK (BrewDog) will once again attain the throne for most
potent beer.
4. I predict that you will see a lot more nano breweries in your local area.
5. I believe that Billy Brew will continue to provide excellent information on the brewing phenomenon
that we all love!
Thanks for the great info and blog. Happy Holidays!
– Christian

Rise of the white stouts.
– Zach

Stone will finally settle on a home for their European brewery. Mega breweries will continue to lose market share. Victory brewing will annouce western expansion.
– Gene

My 2013 specific prediction: A top 10 craft brewer will be acquired or partially acquired by larger company. My specific guess would be Magic Hat or Harpoon. A merger or joint venture of an east-coast and west coast brewery could also happen (instead of opening a new production facility on the opposite coast.)
– Matthew

“Big” IPA’s drop in popularity (related prediction – some knob files lawsuit against craft brewer after getting a DUI when hammered on a high alcohol % IPA or DIPA). Beer cocktail trend comes and goes. Session beers gain popularity.
– William

Mississippi WILL legalize homebrewing this year. With 2 craft breweries opening in Mississippi this month, I foresee 3-4 more opening in 2013. Cheers!
– Wick

The new trends will come from the desert southwest with new brews like:

Stoutwestern – chocolate and jalapeno flavors
Indio Pale Ale – the favorite brew served at Coachella Fest (which is actually held in the city of Indio even though it’s named Coachella)
Mesquitero – porter with charcoal flavor coming from mesquite wood

My mouth is watering already.
– Michael

I foresee no decrease in the rapid growth of many craft breweries . . . at least not for another couple of years. I also expect to see more brewery gastro-pub type “spin-offs”, such as we have here in the Tampa Bay area with Cigar City’s incredible Peg’s Cantina, just south of St. Pete, and the soon to be open Cigar City Brew Pub on the north side of Tampa.
– Ed

My prediction for the next year in beer is to see the Farm to Fork idea expand into Barn to Beer. I think with increased growth of the craft beer market more brewers will make beer that is indigenous to their neighborhood. I expect new “styles” to form as the individual beer communities develop.They will use ingredients only found geographically close and that pair well with food from that region.

Or at least I hope.
– Jeff

I am a huge fan of craft beer and love all the new introductions and flavors that are poping up in the beer industry just about everywhere you look. I will predict in 2013:
President Obama will talk to the American people in front of a fermentation tank at a micro brewery to demonstraite that small business is alive and well in America.

120 new micro brewery’s will open in the US in the next 12 months, two in Boulder alone.

Obtaining Sour’s, Barleywine’s & Saison’s will become popular and available outside Colorado, Oregon, California, North Carolina and Delaware, homes to great craft brewery’s.

Aging in wine and whiskey barrels will become extremely popular.

GABF and Big Beers of Belgium will break all previous attendance records.

Colorado will produce the first Weedbeer.

Medical professionals will announce that drinking 8 oz. of craft beer extends the life of humans.

Craft beer will become available in insolated plastic bottles.
– Jon

With the huge growth of craft breweries we will see more commercial brewers pushing the limits of what defines a beer. I believe that home brewers and long time craft beer drinkers are going to step back to traditional quality beer. While not completely abandoning extreme beers I think the balanced simplicity of malt, hops, yeast and water is making a comeback. A pessimistic prediction I fear is a backlash from the big three brewers. As they lose a growing share of the market I think they will become more aggressive in their attempts to acquire smaller breweries and squeeze out others.
– Fran

This is a tough one, the explosion of craft beer (Just read the licensed brewery numbers for 2012 is the highest ever) has produced so many options that almost every idea has been tried before to some extent. I know it was a “anti-prediction” of yours last year, but I am going to predict that more breweries will be creating session beers as staples in the beer lineup.
– Shegogue Brew

1. InBev will complete it’s aqusition of Corona. Then just like it did with Beck’s…it will change the recipe to be more profitable. InBev will then set it’s sites on Samuel Adams.

2. Larger craft brewers like Sierra Nevada, Fat Tire, etc. will start buying smaller craft breweries in order to gain a bigger market share.

3. These craft breweries will grow to the point there will be another category…the Mini Brewery. A level between Micro and Macro.
– Keith

More chocolate and beer pairing please!!!!!!!
– Johna

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About Billy Broas

He is the founder of The Homebrew Academy, a BJCP beer judge, and the homebrewing expert on the Rocky Mountain PBS television show Colorado Brews. He lives in the fine beer town of Denver, Colorado.

3 responses to “2013 Beer Predictions”

  1. Chris says:

    Homebrewing will continue to explode in Canada. People want great beer and buying it is not an option if you are on a budget. Beer is way too expensive in Canada anyway. If you visit here on holiday, bring your own.

    • Billy Broas says:

      I didn’t know homebrewing was doing so well in Canada. How is the access to supplies, Chris? Many homebrew shops?

  2. Wick says:

    FYI, the homebrew bill has passed through the Mississippi Legislature! It has been signed off by the house, and will be sent back to the senate to be signed off the, onto the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Great times for Mississippi homebrewers!


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