Craft beer as we know is a relatively new category in the realm of alcoholic beverages. Anchor Brewing was technically considered the first craft brewery in the United States, but what we recognize as craft beer today is radically different. Now, we can get our hands on beers like Milkshake DIPAs and Pumpkin Spice Stouts, to the joy of some and disgust of others.
As craft beer continues to push flavor boundaries, one-way cerevisaphiles can keep up with this space is with Tavour. This online marketplace and app allows customers to read reviews of unique craft beers, purchase online, and have orders directly shipped to their homes.
Tavour also gathers up data and shares its research and observations on craft beer trends. The company recently shared with us what it considers some of the strangest beer flavors in 2021:
After School Prrrrt – Fruited Sour Ale from Drekker Brewing Co.
If you could distill childhood memories and put them in a can, it would probably taste just like this beer. Drekker’s outrageously talented, boundary-pushing brewers loaded more than 100 lbs of Fruit by the Foot and Gushers candies into each batch of their After School Prrrt Fruited Sour! Then they took things a step further, cramming in 1,800 lbs of passionfruit, pineapple, plums, strawberries, and raspberries with the sour candy. Finally, they rounded it all out with a creamy dose of lactose, sea salt, and vanilla beans.
The Beer That Refreshes – Sour Ale from Evil Twin Brewing NYC
Only the obsessively experimental brewers at Evil Twin could make a cola-flavored beer and then think, “that’s not quite unique enough. What if we add cinnamon and marshmallows?” To be clear, this is not a hypothetical. It’s The Beer that Refreshes, and we’ve never tasted anything quite like it! It’s like a bakery-spiced Vanilla Coke, spiked with a dash of booze.
Atlanta Banana Pancake Cabana – Imperial Pastry Stout from Listermann Brewing Company and Pontoon Brewing Company
Lovers of all things brunch, raise your glasses! The creative masterminds at Ohio’s Listermann Brewing and Georgia’s Pontoon Brewing stuffed this brunch-inspired Pastry Stout with sweet bananas, vanilla, maple syrup, spices, lactose — and, get this — REAL pancake mix, hazelnuts, and Nutella. Every silky sip tastes just like a stack of classic banana pancakes, with an extra layer of choco-nutty decadence.
Kelp! I Need Some Honey (2020) – Barrel-Aged Saison from Oxbow Brewing Co. and Dogfish Head
At first glance, this barrel-aged Saison doesn’t seem that odd. But when you sip it, there’s an unexpected honey-sweetness, and ever-so-slight minerality. A dry, earthy character that’s delicious, but hard to place.Spoiler: It comes from kelp! That’s right, it’s a seaweed-infused sipper! Is that weird enough for you?
Rainbow Smiggles Fruited Berliner Weisse from Pontoon Brewing Company
Pontoon calls this beer their most famous to date. Curious to know why? They stuff it with over 100 lbs of Trix Cereal and 500 lbs of Skittles! Vamped up with 3 lbs per gallon of juicy strawberries and pineapples, vanilla, and lactose, it’s got craft fans’ inner kids cartwheeling with excitement. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience!
Future Beer Predictions
Less Lactose, More Vegan
Many dessert beers and stouts use lactose to up the sweetness and creaminess of a beer; as you may have noticed, many of the beers above contain lactose. This added ingredient, derived from milk, also provides a silky mouthfeel. However, this addition makes beer not vegan. With the continued rise of veganism and plant-based diets, we expect to see the lactose trends die down, with the addition of alternative, vegan ingredients in beer that provide the same
Medieval recipes for beer were chock full of local herbs, many of which boasted medicinal properties. Hops have become the prevailing herbal ingredient in modern beer brewing, but we expect craft breweries to branch out and begin using more esoteric options. We’ve seen beers infused with sage, chamomile, and hibiscus, but in the upcoming years, we’ll see infusions with herbs such as pandan, thyme, yarrow, holy basil, lavender, rose,
Low Carbon and Water Footprint
The food and beverage industry has become increasingly hip to the importance of a low carbon and water footprint in recent years. Consumers care about this, and businesses want to do their part when it comes to saving the environment. Craft beer is notorious for using large amounts of water – on average, it takes seven gallons of water to produce one gallon of beer. Companies like New Belgium and Sierra Nevada have greatly reduced their water usage, and other craft breweries will follow suit in the next few years. The carbon footprint of beer can be reduced in the field (when growing ingredients such as wheat, corn, and hops for beer), packaging, and shipping process.