What’s in store this year? Here’s our 2020 trend predictions

Written by admin
Published on January 17, 2020

This year is set to be another cracker for food, drink and good times, and we can’t wait to dive head-first into it. 2019 was the year of low to no, an explosion of incredible taproom food options and drinks with a story to tell. So what’s going to be big this year? We asked a few of our best beer friends what they think the key 2020 trends will be this year, as well as some thought’s from the We Are Beer gang too.

Have your own thoughts? Tell us on social! If we get enough we may make a follow up…

Team WAB x

Charlie Macintosh, Lyle’s

At Lyle’s we tend to focus on British based breweries and are currently enjoying the attention younger brewers are giving to more traditional styles, eagerly anticipating various modern takes on classics. The ever increasing options for Lagers brewed in Britain are also hugely exciting for 2020. We hope breweries continue to put great beer in 330ml bottles & cans as this format works especially well in restaurants. This year we have sold more 750ml bottles than ever before and hope to keep working with amazing breweries like Mills, Burning Sky & Little Earth Project.

Awesome bottle selection at Lyle’s

Brad Evans, The Craft Beer Channel

Worst case scenario, hard Brexit and hard seltzer’s. Best case scenario, new hope and new hops!

Jenn Merrick, Earth Station

I think 2020 is going to see growth in crossover beer and beer-adjacent beverages, especially those which focus on consumer health and well-being as well as the welfare of the planet. Already in the US there are brands like Willie’s and Sufferfest who are redefining the segment. In the UK we’ve seen an explosion in low and no-alcohol beers and new brands emerging with an ethos of sustainability. This year I reckon we will start to see brands focussing on better-for-you ingredients: more nutritional information on pack, all-natural healthy superfood type flavour profiles and products with fewer calories.

Jenn Merrick

Nic Crilly-Hargrave, food and drink photographer

For me I’m excited by natural Radlers made with just beer and pure juices. No sugar additives. Traditional beer styles will not disappear but future core ranges will blur as experimentation with different ingredients continue: a deeper dive into cider and wine blending with a focus keeping things refreshing and juicy. Many people may have jumped off the craft wagon this year (after getting sick of the hazy barrage) to pursue interesting things happening in wine bars so this may bring them back into the beer fold.

Dan Sylvester, co-founder We Are Beer

My tip for 2020 is the comeback of the regional cask producers. As the audience becomes better educated then quality, heritage and consistency will come into play, and this is where the heritage regionals will start to claw back. Speaking to a number of breweries around the UK, I think they understand that it’s not a binary choice, there is room for all.

Dan Sylvester

Greg Wells, co-founder We Are Beer

All green everything. It’s always been important, but it can be difficult to be green when you’re a young brewery. The best tech to reuse excess water, c02 and brewing by-products does not always come cheap. As such, it’s often the bigger breweries leading the charge – often because it makes financial sense in the long run. However, I think it’s going to be a big differentiator for younger indy breweries too – especially with younger drinkers coming into the category who are looking for low-impact brands. Thankfully people are more aware of the impact their decisions make and choose accordingly. Craft beer is a culture that is empathetic, aware and engaged and climate crisis is something we cannot get away from. While it’s not really been front and centre in choosing your favourite breweries and beers so far, I think, and hope, it’s going to play an increasingly big part in the coming year or so.

Greg Wells