Barrel Ageing. Barrel ageing beers is a growing trend in the States with all kinds of combinations available. Whisky, wine, sherry, port etc there are many options for brewers to add further flavour complexity to some of their bigger
beers. Brewers such as Brewdog and Hardknott have released some over the last couple of years, but I’d love to see it explored further.
Yeast. Yeast is obviously a key ingredient in the brewing process, but one that I believe is under utilised as an ingredient to change the flavour of a beer. Many brewers use a single strain of yeast on every beer, or switch between a couple of different strains depending on the style of beer. I’d love to see someone release a series, similar to the single hop brews that many do, but focusing on yeast. By keeping the malts and hops the same for each brew and switching between yeast strains, I think it would be very interesting to see how each yeast changes the beer.
Collaborations. I had the chance to try a couple of collaboration brews between UK brewers in 2011, but I’d like to see more. I think that bringing brewers together to create a beer often brings about something new and different.
British Lagers. Again this is something that has started to happen, with brewers such as Thornbridge experimenting with different lager styles, but I’d like to see more of it. With the emerging craft keg market I hope and believe that there is an opportunity for British brewers to create some flavourful lagers that can go on to replace some of the mass produced stuff we currently have in almost every bar. How great would it be if you could travel around the country and know that you could find a draught lager brewed by a local brewery perminantly featured on bars? Awesome, I’d say.
So thats a few of my ideas, what would you like to see from brewers in 2012?