I’ve recapped 2018 and while my cooked internet has spent 20 minutes loading this page I’ve come up with five pretty great predictions. It’s also well over 30 degrees in my house and I don’t have aircon so I’m not going to justify why they are great with a fun quip, just know they are.
Anyway what does 2019 have in store for us in the world of beer? It’s hard to say, unless you are me, and have great predictions.
Seriously, it’s very hot in here…. future generations, if you ever get this because the planet has scraped through by some miracle please know that I’m sorry for what we did to the planet. Don’t blame us, blame…
haha got ‘im.
Honestly though, this bloke is a dud. Parading around with coal in his hand, barking at school kids to stop protesting the fact the planet is literally cooking itself while he’s completely indifferent to it all. This year he’s stuck a beer in his hand at every chance. I actually thought of this prediction before I remembered this absolute shocker of a situation from last month. The short of that one is, he fell for a pretty middling campaign from Goose Island about a made up town called Bland. Here’s a little bit of the story from the Guardian:
The saga began when Morrison saw a YouTube video by the general manager of Bland Shire, Ray Smith, calling for people “to send us anything that’s going to add to the flavour of Bland”. Smith tweeted it with a personal video message and the hashtag #BringFlavourToBland.
Morrison responded, saying: “I’ve got a great curry recipe and I’m going to be bringing you the curry. But more important than that here at the drought summit today I announced a million dollars that’s going to a whole bunch of new drought-affected councils and that includes Bland. So I’ll be bringing you a million bucks as well.”
He’s been doing a few vids this year, as well as jumping on the craft beer train with some tax cuts (which are pretty good if it wasn’t for his whole willingness to destroy the planet while hating on school kids thing). He also did a pretty average skoll of a beer that got some blokes a whole lot worked up at the Prime Minister’s XI cricket match. Which was confusing for not only how bloody excited these fellas were but also for the fact they were at the Prime Ministers XI cricket match. How hard up for entertainment do you have to be that this is how you spend your lives.
These lads are having a right day out watching a middle aged politician drink a beer. Fortunately for them, with Morrison’s commitment to playing up his Aussie larrikin image (dude loves a ‘fair dinkum‘ lately, while his aggressive love for the Cronulla Sharks is VERY much in question) means we are DEFINITELY going to see him do something stupid again with beer in the new year. The Budget is planned for April and it’s just an almost too perfect opportunity. His media handlers are going to be looking at the above gaggle of excitable gents and say “well if one beer at the cricket can lather them into this froth…”.
So yep, in 2019, Scott Morrison will make a tit of himself with a beer.
Three Speed Beerconomy
Portmanteaus. Gotta love them.
It feels like beer is shaking itself out. No longer are “craft” beer drinkers just an amorphous blob shifting from trend to trend, but with the mainstream adoption of brands like Furphy (which I don’t know if you personally define as a craft beer or not so please let me make it clear that I. do. not. care.) and relatively small players like Kaiju Krush getting traction in the major chains (including the continued dominance of Stone & Wood in that space), it seems there is an increasing thirst (lol) for well made beers with a lot of flavour when compared to the past mainstream offerings.
However that hasn’t stopped brands pushing the limits of the New England, and Kettle Sour with fruit in it etc.
And those haven’t stopped the growth of the Wildflower’s and La Sirène’s of the country, who will continue to woo the wine and food worlds with refined, delicate farmhouse and wild fermented styles. The exciting thing is, some of these beers exist all within the same portfolio. Boatrocker, for example, are producing beer for every one in these three tiers (I wrote journey initially but I think the idea of people taking a journey through beer is becoming outdated. Some people will only engage with the Wildflowers, and others with the Kaiju’s. Which is awesome).
Yeah yeah, all beer is fermented. Gold star for you.
However I think we’ll see words like kveik, kombucha, kefir and tepache popping up all over the beer world (kveik is far more beer than the others but its unconventional nature means I’m putting it in the mix).
Esoteric drinks, using different forms of traditional fermentation or yeast that we are unfamiliar with. You only need to take a look in your local chain supermarket and see the “fermented cola” drinks, next to the kombucha which is incidentally being advertised on billboards outside. I had one of those fermented colas and I don’t know if it was good or bad or who owned it but boy was it yum.
These trends are starting to pop up in the beer world already. There have been some Australian beers commercially using kveik yeast, and with the rise in interest around soured beers and wild ferments, expect to see a lot more unusual combinations.
Rocky Times Will Lead To Mergers
Businesses fail, it’s just the law of averages or something I don’t know go ask an economist. However I get the sense storm clouds are coming for a few medium to larger breweries out there. Things are fierce and people are spending a lot of cash just to keep up. The housing market isn’t looking so rosy right now in Australia. They say it’ll be a soft fall but the OECD has some stern warnings. As reported by Shane Wright in the Sydney Morning Herald the other day:
The OECD said the Morrison government should “prepare contingency plans” for a possible correction across the housing market that could leave the banking sector at threat.
Incidentally the OECD took a shot at the Govts climate policies too. Something which could also harm the long term economy
“Australia has made little progress in reducing its environmental footprint in large part because frequent changes in core climate change instruments have created uncertainty for emitters, which has also discouraged energy security investment,” it said.
I think mergers and small to medium sized acquisitions, like Tribe/Mornington, or Good Times (Gage Roads)/Matso’s are probably how many are going to navigate this. A lot of breweries need space, and a lot of breweries have space, and just as many don’t have the tools to navigate growth and expansion when it’s needed.
Sour Beer Will Hit Mainstream
That’s right. I’m bringing it out: “durr sour beers next big trend durrr”.
Nah I’m not saying the next big trend but I feel like we’ll see some squeaks from the majors into the world of sours. You can already buy sour beer in Dan Murphy’s, but it’s really yet to make a dent on premise. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few toes dipped in the water from the Lions and AB InBevs of the world in the tap space. They already have a few in their stables – Lion has White Rabbit (a few people still don’t know White Rabbit toy with things like a whisky barrel aged Berliner), and now 10 brewpubs under the James Squire brand which are a pretty good testing ground. While AB InBev are one of the ones in Dan Murphy’s with the Goose Island Sour Sisters range.
Q: How long until we see the Goose Island Midway IPA taps replaced by something a little tart? Or a James Squire sour tinny?
A: One year.
I’m saying it in my 2019 predictions, so it kind of has to be one year. Otherwise wtf do I know.
Sours on tap, three speed portfolios, Prime Ministers making dicks of themselves, small scale mergers, and fermented pineapple drinks: beer in 2019.