The Firkin for December 2018

I just read that Democratic Presidential debates will be starting in June of 2019. So next year will certainly have even more weirdness than Washington DC has produced in the last two years.

Weirdness will also be front and center for beer. Cargill has decided to stop providing malt for brewing, an equipment manufacturer has gone under along with brewery deposits and Sam Adams got another exemption carved out for their tea and seltzer business. That was just this month.

I label myself a positive skeptic. I analyze and look at a situation with an eye to the sunny side. But I think that 2019 is going to be bumpy. Below are my predicted reasons why….

1. More breweries are trying the hard seltzer route even though it is a niche within a niche that they have not sold in before
2. Regional breweries are going to contract in both employees and product offerings (see Deschutes)
3. A new IPA sub-style will dent the hazy train enough to slow the 16oz brewery only release.
4. Successful breweries will start taking over flailing ones to expand their footprint
5. Some breweries will break off from the Brewers Association citing lack of support for their size of operation in comparison to the larger craft breweries.

Check back with me this time next year and we can see if my Magic 8 Ball was correct.