5 Key Trends from Craft Beer Rising 2018

630 472 Marc Edwards
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Since its inception in 2013, Craft Beer Rising (CBR) has built a solid reputation as the launchpad for exciting new brews and innovations in the brewing industry.  Held in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London’s East End, CBR has quickly become the go-to place for new news from the world of Craft Beer.  Beer fans travel from afar to taste the beers, check out product launches and for the chance to meet the faces behind the brands. This year over 175 breweries exhibited at CBR with well-established beer brands such as Meantime, Sierra Nevada and Goose Island clicking tasting glasses with local rising stars like Gipsy Hill, Brixton Brewery and Mondo.

Here are 5 key trends that we took out from the event:

  1. InterCLASHonal Beers

Bianca Road

We all know that the craft beer phenomenon has gone global.  This year at CBR there were representatives from Denmark (Theodor Schiotz), Hungary (Horizont Brewing), India (Bira 91) Australia (Nomad Brewing Co.) and the Basque Country (Mala Gissona) proudly displaying their wares.  However, more perhaps more interestingly was the number of brewers who are mixing and matching different international approaches.

  • Bianca Road Brew Co. is a 15 barrel brewery based in Bermondsey who specialise in West Coast ales inspired by a cycling tour across the US
  • Brick Brewery showcase beers from around the world that the brewers have encountered on their travels.
  • ORA Brewing was founded in Modena in 2016 but us now based in London making beer from the finest Italian ingredients
  • Winslow Brew Co. is a Swiss brewery with a British brewer that is bringing British style beers to Switzerland and now hoping to extend (back) into the UK
  1. Small But Passionately Formed

Vocation

No-one can doubt the passion that is displayed by all the exhibitors at CBR however there is something extra that shines through when the people who have seemingly put everything on the line for their love of beer.  Not to put down the Goose Islands and Meantimes of this world (we love your beers too!) but there is something extra that shines through when you speak with people who have real ‘skin in the game’ and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

  • Vocation is a fiercely independent brewery who are “utterly hell-bent” on producing punchy and distinctive beers.
  • Hammerton is an Islington-based microbrewery which makes small batch beers with the dual aim of making great beer and also re-establishing the Hammerton Brewery in London.
  • West by Three is a Welsh microbrewery brewing small batches of craft beer across a broad variety of styles.
  1. The Power of Purpose

Brewgooder

It was interesting to note that although everyone at CBR was there for the great beer, some of the exhibitors are using their passion for great beer to be part of a greater social purpose.

  • Brewgooder is on a mission to bring 1 million people clean drinking water through the power of craft beer. Since 2016 they have helped provide clean water to 40,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Toast Ale make award winning craft beer from surplus fresh bread. All their profits go to the charity Feedback which is dedicated to ending food waste.
  • Big Hug Brewing allows you to savour progressive great tasting craft beer and save the rainforest through the Green Squares.
  1. Breathing New Life into (very) Old Brands

ABK

Although people tend to think of craft beer as a relatively recent development, the truth is that people have been crafting beer for centuries.  One of the positive side-effects of the craft beer movement is that is has allowed some older brands to step again into the limelight.

  • ABK is a premium Bavarian craft that can trace its roots to 1308 and represents more than 700 years of Bavarian brewing heritage and tradition
  • Belhaven have been brewing beautiful beer for nearly 300 years. The describe themselves as “innovative and a wee bit obsessive”.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • Steigl is Austria’s largest privately-owned family-run brewery. It has used Alpine spring water to make beer since 1492 using their famous Goldbräu pouring method.   Apparently Mozart drank it!
  1. Accessible Experimenting

DE14

Craft beer has always been about trying new things and taking risks but there are some in the industry who are pushing this to another level.  These companies are putting experimentation and innovation at the heart of their business.

  • DE14 is a 600 pint brew kit in the heart of Burton. It describes itself as “the current playground for brewers to create, collaborate and experiment with style ingredients and techniques”.
  • Craft Academy is a beer brand with a difference. Founded on the principle that young people who have the drive and ambition to succeed should be offered the opportunity to realise it.  With support from Greene King, Craft Academy they provide invaluable mentorship for recruits, highlighting and harnessing their skills, training them, supporting them and pushing them to become beer experts.
  • Renegade was created in 2015 by West Berkshire brewery as a platform to develop contemporary brews. A place that brewers can experiment, push the boundaries and trial an ever-changing selection of combinations to compliment the core range.

And a special shout out to Infinite Session – the only alcohol-free craft beer that we could find in the entire show!  Opportunity?

2018 was the biggest year for CBR yet and as the craft beer craze shows no obvious signs of slowing down, the smart money is on 2019 being even bigger.

AUTHOR

Marc Edwards

Marc is the Director of Strategy for Brand Genetics. He is an insight & innovation specialist with a track record of driving value in products and brands through strategic planning and creative ideation.

All stories by: Marc Edwards

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