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Top Emerging Beer Styles for 2020

The start of a new decade is sure to have beer fans searching for what comes next – both in terms of flavor and innovation. Drinking in 2020 will likely see a few styles and trends emerge that will play to the brewing industry’s strengths while still honoring its history.

Of course, beer styles that have been on the rise in recent years are only poised to become stronger. New England-style IPA, in all its variations – from the hazy and juicy double dry hopped versions to the lactose-heavy, milkshake-style ones – will continue to surprise and delight. The same is true in the pastry stout category, where big, bold, black, boozy, sugary concoctions will become even more dessert-like. Munich helles and Vienna lagers will also likely continue to grow in craft, with many brewers seeing the benefit of offering a style that appeals to a wider swath of beer drinkers.

While it is not beer, it’s hard to ignore the popularity of hard seltzer. Many breweries are jumping into the fizzy alcoholic water game. Look for a skew towards local flavors specific to a region, be it fruits or herbs that convey a sense of place. Smaller brewers won’t be able to make a big dent in the profits or popularity of the national brands but can make an impact on their local market.

Also, be on the lookout next year for more kveik, the Norwegian farmhouse ale. Homebrewers are still hot on this style, and while it was taking off professionally last year, expect it to hit a longer stride in 2020.

What else might you see on tap or on shelves this year? Through interviews, observations and a little bit of hope, we offer you these beer trends for the new year.


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