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New Craft Beer Trends for 2023

New craft beer

When All About Beer editor Vince Cottone coined the term “craft beer” in 1979, he likely did not realize that it would become both an industry and a pop culture buzzword that has evolved into a double-edged sword. Some take it very seriously, others reject the word altogether, and still more embrace some or all of what it represents.

As we move into 2023, it’s clear that craft breweries have their work cut out for them. Whether you believe we are in, or about to enter, a recession or just a normal downturn, this is an exceptionally challenging time for anyone selling anything, including beer. This is especially true for breweries, as a number of smaller ones have already closed or are listing themselves for sale.

Amid these challenges, we expect to see a continued push by breweries to offer high-ABV styles as well as a new generation of sessionable, low-calorie beers. Look for many of these offerings to incorporate fruit and other additives that help entice more casual consumers who might have shunned the category in the past. We’ll also see breweries dip into the macro playbook with riffs on classic beers like lagers, using salt and lime or adding cheladas to elevate their flavors. Examples include Sierra Nevada’s release of Strainge Beast, a hard kombucha, and Stone Brewing’s line of tequila-based canned margaritas under the brand name Stone Buenafiesta Margaritas. These releases demonstrate that there is still a lot of room in the craft beer market for innovation and exploration.

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