As this year comes to an end, I thought I’d write about some of the hottest beer trends of 2021 that look like they’re here to stay. Brewers left the old Milkshake IPAs in 2017 for some new and improved styles. They kept the lactose, though. Lactose once brought large crowds to breweries like Pretty Patties bought 46,853 people to Spongebob’s house. However, this is no longer the case. Breweries now have to make the most extravagant adjunct-filled beers, and they introduced a European tradition to America in an effort to attract customers.
Getting Diabetes – Out of these hottest beer trends, pastry stouts and fruited sours top the list. Brewers add your favorite candies and desserts, using everything from cheesecake to breakfast cereals. I don’t know about you, but I miss when beer tasted like beer. Don’t get me wrong. Pastry stouts definitely have a place in craft beer, but beers with 5+ adjuncts aren’t the only way to attract customers these days.
Drinking A Glass of Foam – Milk tubes are all the rage, but they don’t have the foam you’re used to. The Czech tradition consists of a beer poured from a Lukr faucet that produces a milky texture, hence the name. Generally cheaper than an American-style pour, breweries serve milk tubes in tall, thin glasses meant for chugging. Human Robot Beer pioneered this style in Philly, making it a taproom staple. You can get milk tubes for $2 on Tubesdays, but unfortunately, they’ve shifted to takeout-only due to a COVID exposure. Hopefully, we can enjoy some milk tubes there again soon.
In-Person Releases – With all the home delivery options and famous breweries distributing, local breweries are trying their best to build hype. There’s no FOMO when some of the best beers in the country get delivered right to your door. So how do breweries attract customers when there’s no longer a reason to visit a certain brewery for a release? Marketing is the answer! It’s not enough to slap “DDH” and “hazy” on a label anymore. They have to convince customers it’s special. Aside from pastry stouts that sound like something Willy Wonka made, they’re ditching online ordering for pre-pandemic taproom-only releases. We’re more likely to want something that’s hard to get. Even my local Detroit-style pizza joint got rid of online orders.