Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 5 years or so, you’ve probably noticed that the array of beer styles available everywhere from brunch to baseball games has been rapidly expanding.
Where once your choices were pretty much between a ‘standard’ and ‘light’ beer, now you can get session ales, wild ales, lactose ‘milkshake’ IPA’s: the list goes on and on and on.
Recently, consumer data company Nielsen decided to take a closer look at this rapidly expanding market and discern exactly what the trends are. So without further adieu, here are the most popular beer styles in the US right now.
1. Sour: This might shock some people, since sour beers are some of the hardest to bring the uninitiated around to. Sales of the style rose by a staggering 43% this year.
2. Other: This seems like a cop-out category, but the fact is that the sheer range of styles brewers are creating means that a huge chunk of the market is made by outliers like smoked, wild, and rye beers. Despite being a curious segment of the market, US drinkers ponied up for them to the tune of $133M last year.
3. IPA: Now we’re talking. This style is – for many – what set off the craft beer revolution in the first place. Virtually every indie brewer has their own take on the style, whether bitter and hoppy, juicy and hazy, or more recently, “Brut”. All those variations under the umbrella of one style make up a nearly $1B market alone.
4. Stouts: Not to be confused with their porter counterparts, stouts — brewed with roasted unmalted barley to impart their signature coffee flavour — stouts have also seen a rise in popularity, and were tipped to be one of the tipples of 2018 in a number of trends reports.
5. Hybrids: Cross pollination was one of the key trends for 2018 cited by everyone from Euromonitor to Waitrose, and while the category is only worth 0.4% of the whole beer market in sales, it has taken over a small portion of overall market share in the past year. Sales were up 3.8% to $58.8 million, while units also rose by 0.4% over.