Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interesting trends on the west coast

Just got the following note from Ratebeer.com's Joe Tucker about a San Francisco Beer Week event he attended Sunday night, and of course found it intensely interesting. Read on...
I just wanted to drop you a brief note on something Ken Weaver and I took note of at last night's Nanobrewers mini festival at Social Kitchen in SF last night. More than several of the brewers:
  • were brewing session beers under 4.5% abv
  • presented beers of English and non-English tradition (cask and non-cask, traditional hops and recipes and not)
Additionally, several brewers articulated:
  • a market demand-related reason for brewing lower abv beer
  • a business/cost-related reason
  • a business/sales reason (sell two or three pints of session instead of one burly beer)
  • a health and safety reason
While these weren't the dominant styles of beers offered at the event, the number of low abv offerings were grossly over-represented relative to their numbers in the existing market.
 So...trend? Interesting question, considering that Social Kitchen had named the event "Breweries of Tomorrow." If you haven't hit the link, do so, and read how the breweries described their output. "Subtle yet complex session ales intended for the social drinking style of a traditional pub," and "session beers with character – the kind of brews you can enjoy more than one of, and won’t get bored with."

The Session Beer Project, bearing fruit? I suspect it's more a case of being sensitive to the first small stirrings of a new direction in brewing. Whatever, we'll take it. Cheers to the choices!

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