If the acronym IPA means something to you; if your mouth begins to water and you are thinking it’s five o’clock somewhere, you are not alone. This week on Beer notes, we are looking at the most popular styles of craft beer based on the first half of 2019 data.
As reported by the Brewers Association, IPAs were again the fastest growing style of beer during the first half of 2019, up 16%. They represent almost ⅓ of all craft volume sold. We believe that’s because new IPA styles attracted new IPA drinkers.
The hazy and New England style IPAs added options to the category that aren’t as bitter and attracted craft beer drinkers who love the flowery aromas and citrus flavors of hops but dislike the bitterness of the more traditional IPAs.
Craft beer has always been associated with high alcohol and most of us know that is not always true. It is even less true as the interest in health and wellness of huge numbers of craft beer drinkers is affecting innovation in brewing. Lower alcohol and lighter beers did show growth,
However, the statistics from the first half of 2019 show that the highest growth in craft beer sales is actually in the 7+% alcohol by volume category. 96% of craft consumers said that “flavor” was important when choosing a craft beer to purchase.
So you will continue to find the high alcohol beers on the shelves in your favorite beer store or on tap in your favorite brewery. As we move through summer and into autumn, become a statistic and reach for an imperial version of your favorite beer style, or a barrel aged stout. Maybe even a Belgian tripel.
I think I am going to go for the Sandstorm on the Shore Craft Beer Cruise this evening, a 9% ABV Belgian tripel made by 3rd Wave brewing company, a woman owned brewery in Delmar, Delaware. Not a bad way to enjoy a two hour boat cruise in the Bays behind Ocean City and Assateague, Maryland.
For Beer Notes, this is Anne Neely.