The Future of Craft Beer: Where Things Are Going and Why It Matters

National Drink Beer Day

There’s never been a better time for craft beer. With so many micro and nanobreweries coming to life around the country, craft beer is enjoying its golden age. And this might be only the beginning.

“The future of craft beer will be changed by public opinion,” says Matt Delvecchio, the “Head Quack” and founder of Duck Foot Beer, a microbrewery in San Diego. “We have got to where we are because our beer drinking population is becoming way more savvy. “And as tastebuds mature and people are turned onto new styles, Delvecchio believes breweries are going to start making more of those beers.

Here’s an example: Sierra Nevada set the standard for the pale ale and things exploded from there. “There are pale ales and double pale ales and IPA’s, Double IPA’s and triple IPA’s,” Delvecchio says. “I mean people now want to shower with hops and I don’t blame them.”

Aside from the pale ales and IPA’s, Delvecchio thinks another trend that will exploded in future years will be lower ABV beer. “People can have a couple beers and still be able to get home safely,” he explains. Add to that sour beers, which are already popular but might gain even more traction in the next couple of years. “Once you develop a taste for sours, it’s a real treat for your pallet and there aren’t a ton of them on the market,” Delvecchio says.

Where Microbreweries Rule

Delvecchio says people have already chosen microbreweries as the future for beer in the United States. “AB Inbev basically started a fight between Macro and Micro and for the most part they win because they sell both,” Delvecchio says. “But if you look at the double-digit growth of craft that to me says that our country is voting and they want taste, quality and distinction and that’s what craft is all about.”

Part of the reason for that huge growth? Delvecchio believes craft beer has grown so much in the last few years because for decades the top couple of macro breweries jammed tasteless light lagers down our throats and didn’t offer anything else. “If they had just made a couple of different styles who knows, maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today,” says Delvecchio. “But now it’s too late: people have tasted how amazing fresh local hand crafted beer can be and it’s never going to go back.”

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Diana Bocco is a writer and author who writes for Yahoo!, the Discovery Channel website, Marie Claire, Poplar Mechanics, and more. You can find more about her work on her website dianabocco.com.

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