10 Bold Predictions for Beer in 2014 - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

10 Bold Predictions for Beer in 2014

Hopefully you’ve finished nursing your hangover from your goodbye to 2013. Now it’s time to start thinking about resolutions and what will happen in the year ahead. So I’ve decided to throw my fortune telling hat into the ring and see if anything sticks.

  1. AB-InBev and SAB Miller will begin the process of merging. However the merger will eventually be blocked due to EU Merger Regulations. Carlos Brito will also hold his last full year as CEO of AB-InBev as the company sees unexpected drops in both market share and profitability.
  2. Many states will pass regulation expanding self-distribution for small brewers within the state. This will include the state of Maryland. This change will significantly increase the number of breweries in the planning stages during 2014, and increase the viability of current brewers.
  3. Many states will also begin to simplify beer regulations. Some will eliminate the requirement of taxes being paid upfront on beer shipped into the state, others will drop bond requirements. Larger brewers such as AB-InBev will fight this, as this simplification of interstate commerce reduces their stranglehold on the market.
  4. The India Pale Ale will continue its dominance of beer styles. However, it will spawn even more variations. The technique of hop bursting popularized by session IPAs will make its way into Double IPAs this year. Hop bursting will create extremely flavorful yet not overly bitter Double IPAs. Unfortunately they will also be pricey.
  5. Experimentation with wood maturation will be on the rise. At least one brewer will use a technique of spinning or vibrating oak spirals, similar to sonic maturation, to provide greater oak flavor.
  6. The number of breweries operating in the United States will briefly top 3,000. But due to market saturation in some areas and poor management the number will drop just below 3,000 by year’s end.
  7. Crafty brewers (ie. Blue Moon) will continue to be on the rise. One major brewer will go as far as to create a brand that is truly craft in spirit in an attempt to win over craft drinkers.
  8. Bicoastal expansion of breweries will continue. Some possible announcements: Dogfish Head building an Oregon or California brewery. Rogue announcing a brewery on the eastern seaboard.
  9. The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) will modify its format to ensure previous winners will have the ability to defend their medals. GABF will also start allowing even more breweries exhibition space without the ability to compete. With these changes they will approach 1,000 breweries this year.
  10. A prominent brewer will announce their intention to run for public office. The actual campaign may not be in 2014 though. Some interesting candidates might be Tony Magee of Lagunitas, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company, Greg Koch of Stone, or Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. I would love to see Tony Magee in office. Love or hate his ideas, he’s got some, and says them with passion.

About the author

John Thompson

John Thompson is a beer enthusiast who began evangelizing craft beer a few years ago on his blog thehoplocal.com. John has been homebrewing sporadically for almost 20 years, and also is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. When not enjoying a cold malty beverage you will find John spending time with his spouse and two young children or working his day job in Financial Services Technology. Make sure to find John on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @TheHopLocal and Untapped. at : http://untappd.com/user/thehoplocal Contact the author.