New Craft Beer Innovations
With an ever-growing selection of new craft beers available in the market, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the offerings. Many consumers enjoy sampling a wide variety of beers and don’t display loyalty toward particular brands or styles. But this variety also poses operational challenges for breweries.
Brewers are increasingly focusing on developing new, original beer flavors to attract drinkers. While hops lend beers their signature flavor, many other raw ingredients can add a unique taste to beer. But these additions require a lot of time, energy and money to develop, and some breweries can’t afford to develop and market a new, original beer flavor every month.
For example, Flying Embers has distinguished itself by marketing hard kombucha and hard seltzer beverages that are “a buzz with benefits.” The brewery has now branched out to beer, using an ingredient most would not expect to be in a beer: reishi mushrooms. These mushroom-derived extracts offer adaptogenic properties. Other ingredients include Madagascar vanilla beans, cocoa nibs and rolled oats.
As climate change and wildfire smoke negatively impact fruit and hop production, brewers are increasingly turning to other sources of flavor. Omega Yeast in Chicago developed a “thiolized” yeast strain that can produce lactic acid, and Berkeley Yeast has created a “tropics” strain that delivers aromas of guava and passionfruit. These innovations could help breweries create delicious-tasting beers with less high-quality raw ingredients.