2016 to see increase in craft breweries, experimental beer flavors - Metro US

2016 to see increase in craft breweries, experimental beer flavors

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Brewers bottle by hand a batch of Atlantic A.P.A. at inner city craft beer makers Brixton Brewery on December 8, 2015 in London, England. Located in three railway arches on Brixton Station Road, the Brixton Brewery was founded in 2013 by two local couples and hand craft nine varieties of beer in small batches. The brewery has expanded into a third railway arch at the end of 2015 as the business grows. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
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Being small is not always a disadvantage — especially when your taste has people looking for more.
In just the last couple of years, the country has seen an increase in craft breweries with brewers looking to add a new twist to the beer industry.
As of June of last year, 3,739 craft breweries were operating in the United States, an increase of 699 from the previous year, according to a report by the Brewers Association, the nonprofit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers.
According to Greg Avola, co-founder of the social app Untappd — which allows users to share beers, beer-drinking establishments and beer feedback — this increase will only continue.
Since launching Untappd together with partner Tim Mather, Avola said the app has garnered a total of 3 million users and through user interaction has been able to notice trends in the industry.
“Every part of the country has a unique twist to making beers,” Avola said. “That flexibility will allow other craft breweries to say they want to start even if there are already a lot of them out there.”
The New York City resident added that what makes craft beers attractive is the unique flavors each brewery offers and the “exclusivity” given to their consumers.
“People want more flavors, they want to have more experience,” Avola said. “It’s the whole notion of individuality.”
For 2016, the beer industry will take on an evolutionary phase, according to Avola. There will be more of an exploration of different styles such as root beers, sour beers, beers aged in wine barrels or bourbon barrels, and overall brewers using knowledge from years ago.
And although he added that the bigger brands could definitely do such experimentation, the craft breweries will be the ones to most likely push the boundaries of the traditional style.
The reason being that for larger brands, it would take more time while craft brewers could try small batches.
“Smaller breweries are trying to be innovative,” Avola said. “ That vision and freedom allows them to be more experimental.”
For New York, which is the second highest market area for Untappd, 2016 will see a continuation of the trend of visiting local breweries, flocking to get special edition beers, bar hopping and attending beer festivals.
Another big trend in the Big Apple include “tap takeovers” where breweries partner up with local bars and feature their line of beers on the tap for a particular day.
“It turns out that people really like these experiences,” Avola said.
And even though, based on data from Untappd, the market shows to be going towards the craft breweries for the New Year Avola said their app caters to lovers of all beers – big brands or small.
“We help people discover what their next beer is, not matter what it is,” Avola said. “We just like to help create a good experience.”
To learn more about Untappd, visit untappd.com.

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