We’re four days into 2017, & my crystal ball has recovered from its hangover to spew forth its predictions for the coming year in the Irish craft beer scene. If any or even one of these turn out to be right, make sure to grab two of each animal & beer, & head for the hills.
If there was any ‘trend’ about to be hopped on like a Donald Trump tweet, it’s the murky east-coast style IPA. It’s coming, of yes it is. Irish craft brewers are out of their shackles & they want some of that CloudWater action.
Make Mine a Double.
Shades of this crept in last year, & from the mumblings going about in Craftbeeristan here on our Emerald Isle, I am fully expecting to see alot more Double IPA’s to be popping up from Irish Micro Brewers.
Another trend I expect to see is a behemoth wave of fruity IPA’s, which I’m sure the AllTech conference beer lineup will in the coming weeks more or less confirm. Our market is riding a crest of innovation & catchup right now that is pretty awesome to watch as we go breakneck towards the variety of the jokers to the right of us, while we look towards the clowns on the left of us.
The label game in Ireland is on lock right now with one Yellow Belly Brewery from SImon Lambert & Sons from Wexico in the South of our Ireland. I expect to see more breweries up their game when it comes to their labelling not only for our market now its heading for the angsty, spotty faced teenage years but as the export opportunities open up more.
DogShite. Don’t hold your f#*king breath.
New Era. Same old shit. If you’re hoping for a BrewDog bar in Dublin, Cork or Belfast don’t hold your breath. BrewDog’s teasing of a bar here on our fair shores is like a cam-girl telling you from the comfort of her Alaskan snow-wear that if you tip her some tokens, you’ll get to see her naked. Execpt it’ll take alot of them & by the time it happens, you’ll either be out of tokens and or bored shitless.
Tag Team Action.
This might be the year. Oh yes it will. 2017 will be the year of collaboration brews going full tilt with Irish brewers. Towards the end of last year, we had Whiplash/Otterbank with Farami (I get hard just saying that beer’s name – seriously), & this year looks like we’ll have a Whitehag/Kinnegar collab pretty soon on shelves. More collabs to follow as breweries become more comfortable in their own skin.
A barrel of laughs.
This year hopefully we’ll see smoe super interesting barrel aged stuff hit our gobs that goes beyond the done-to-death-already whiskey/bourbon barrel shennanigans to more interesting ones such as white & red wine barrells, maybe some tequilla ones (if what I’ve heard is right from some barrel inventories yet to be used here in Ireland) & even some more interesting ones.
More craft beer bars.
This year I’m almost certain we’re going to see at least 20 more craft beer bars open up on our side of the border across the country. And this is a good thing. Exciting times.
At least one macro acquisition.
I’ve a sneaking suspicion we could see at least one acquisition of a brewery in Ireland this year if not two by either a macro or a VC. Call b.s. on that all you like, but you know we’re due one with the growth in the market right now right?