A belated happy new year to you all! I trust it will be a fantastic year for you and your loved ones and I hope that you reach new heights for your love and exploration of craft beer.
I’ve put together a wishlist of things I’d like to see in our craft beer industry in 2019, from brewers to bars to customers. I’m aware that some of these are not practically possible or feasible, but I thought maybe it would lead to some other cool ideas for people that read this. So, on to the list!
This has already improved vastly in the last few years and I’m sure it will continue to improve, but I still spend far too much money on beers that are sub-par or not the same as when I tasted them last time. I like a bit of variation, but it must still taste like the style it claims to be on the label. Also, the bottled version should be very close to the keg version.
I love a good collaboration. Everything is better when people work together. I get that brewers are extremely busy just trying to get the beer to market at the right quality (hence consistency is top of the list), but I’d love to see more collaborations between brewers to see how their different styles of brewing can work together.
Again, I know they’re busy trying to get the regular range out, but whenever an experimental beer comes out I (and many people I know) get very excited because I know that the brewer is pushing the envelope and bringing out a beer that not everyone will like but still challenges boundaries. That’s a large part of what craft is about for me and I’d love to see more of it. It also provides a great opportunity to learn from the things they don’t do day to day.
More tap takeovers
This is more of a partnership between brewers and bars. I’d really like to see local brewers featured on a tap takeover evening, even if they only have 2 or 3 beers, they can just take over some of the taps. If the bars focus more on local brewers (as close to the bar as possible), it would show that they care about the local community and also provide nice exposure for the brewer.
I understand that there are consistency (see first point above) and supply issues but I’d really like to see bars supporting the new and interesting beers that come out, even if its limited quantity.
Proper training of staff
“No, I don’t want an IPA in an ice cold glass out the freezer, thank you.” Hopefully this is the year I don’t need to say this. If you’re going to serve craft beer, learn how to serve it properly. It’s fair to you, to your waitrons, to the customers and to the brewers. Not all beers are the same and for the price I’m paying, I want to taste it as it should be. Lucy Corne has a Beer 101 course that would be a great start!
Different to the brewers’ experimenting, I really hope that drinkers will make this year the year of trying new things. Whether its a new style of beer (“I don’t like dark beers” is only valid if you’ve tried them all. Which you haven’t.) or other fermented beverages (the craft gins coming out are truly phenomenal, and a craft G&T with some quality tonic is one of the most refreshing drinks you get. We should be supporting all local businesses that have passion for their craft, whether its beer, gin, wine, food or another industry.
My other wish is that people will educate themselves about what goes into beer (or whatever else they choose to consume) and understand the blood, sweat and tears it takes to get it in front of them. This also allows you to enjoy it more. Knowledge is power! There are some fantastic courses and conferences out there, and also a vast well of information known as the internet.
Disagree? A wishlist of your own? Let me know!