What should you expect for craft beer in Los Angeles and the rest of the world this year? Plenty. Here is what I am looking forward to and what I expect to see in the next 12 months.
1. Get ready for fruit IPAs!
The success of Sculpin with Grapefruit from Ballast Point has begat a raft of grapefruit accented IPAs around the country. More will be on the way. Dogfish Head has a mango/apricot IPA coming and Stone has an Enjoy By IPA with tangerines on tap and soon in bottles. By the end of the year, no stone fruit will be unturned.
2. SABInBevMiller will buy up more breweries.
Like Donald Trump is to comedians, the Belgian Beer Monster will feed many a post for beer writers. If I was in Texas, I would look out. That state looks to be the next victim, but not the last.
3.El Segundo will be interesting to watch this year.
4. Blendery Blows Up
Expect the numbered bottles from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing’s Beachwood Blendery spin-off to become the hottest beers of the year. As the beers age and the blends can become more complex, the beers will become even more ethereal.
5.More breweries will test the L.A. market.
Bell’s made a big and sustained push in 2015 and Founders Brewing, another Midwest staple is set to hit this month. Other breweries will follow. There are too many expats from around the country who want the beer from their original hometown.
The Beer of the Week comes from Angel City Brewery and is a perfect toast to the new year and might be the tip of another beer trend. Mixing the world of wine with beer is only natural. It started with beers aged in wine barrels and proceeded to beers with grapes added and now you head to a beer that is the beer equivalent to champagne. Sparkling Berliner Weisse has a lovely grape forward taste with just the right amount of fizzy carbonation.
Your Homework this week is to give your growler collection a good cleaning and culling. Whether you have one that you use frequently or ten that have been gathering dust in some forgotten corner, with the start of a new year it is time to have the ones that you will use ready for the next trip to a local L.A. brewery, the ones that you don’t should either be re-purposed as say, a flower vase or re-gifted.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.