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2020 The Times They are A-Changin'

The new decade will being many changes to the craft beer industry. The above title, from a Dylan song almost 60 years ago, still rings true for our industry. Every year brings change and more are in store. One lyric says change or get out of the way. (Sink or swim) True but hopefully breweries will retain their character and quality as the changes progress. As my home page says "it's all about beer". I have become more adamant about this as I see breweries make beverages other than beer. Sorry people, beer matters; not FMBs (industry speak for 'flavored malt beverages'), hard seltzer or flavored water. Many of these changes have come due to consumer preferences. This is fine but we need to keep the 'craft beer movement' going with beer! I don't buy the 'healthy' bit for these as they still contain alcohol, just not as much. Some create the drink with sugar being fermented into the final product. How 'healthy' is this? Beer, made with the 4 ingredients is still the mainstay. Some of these trends are national and some of the big guys have to answer to shareholders. This doesn't apply to most of the over 8000 breweries now operating in the US. Most are family owned and local. If they brew great beer people will come. If a brewery has a loyal local following they will continue on without resorting to making anything other than beer. So, in the coming year(s) there will be closings and plenty of success stories. The industry looks way different now than in 2010 and we can expect more in the new decade. Who knows what we will see in 10 years but I have a feeling it will be based on top quality, great beer. Currently, IPA is the best selling style in craft. The style is changing as brewers use new ideas and formulas for the style. The New England hazy IPA is big as are other 'juicy' IPAs.. Change happens fast here; Brut IPA's were all the rage a year ago. When is the last time you had one? Changes happening already in 2020: 40 year old Boulder Brewing is closing Jan. 18, 2020. Then there is another article about 10 new breweries that plan to open, in Denver, in 2020. This just in: Bruisin' Ales the 13 year old classic beer store in Asheville, NC is closing in late February! For the latest changes see my Twitter feed.

In 2019 I experienced over 20 new breweries which are on my 2019 page. It was a great year and included visits to several New England breweries and Greenville SC has become a great beer town. Florida and NC both have over 300 breweries. I visited a new brewery in Miami in December. I hear of more coming and the same for western NC. The year will start, once again, in Jupiter with two festivals in one weekend. I am making plans for new brewery visits this year and also will hit some old favorites. The times are a changing' but some things never change! See you at at a brewery soon.

Cheers, Larry

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