I've done enough pontificating for a few days and wanted to try something different.
Most of the people who read this blog really seem to know their stuff, so let me ask you a question: what's the next big thing in beer? What's the next thing we're excited about that has a real chance of going mainstream? Think about how Hoegaarden launched in the UK a decade ago: building slowly with little in the way of marketing hype, to the point where wheat beer is now an established sector in the beer market that doesn't scare the mainstream drinker.
Things are very exciting just now -we've got more choice and variety in beer than ever before if you know where to look for it. Deus and Kasteel Cru have pegged out a 'champagne beer' niche that seems to have a lot more room in it. Innis & Gunn has blazed a trail leading wood-aged beers into the supermarket and we've seen an explosion of whisky-aged beers from Schiehallion, Orkney, Brew Dog, and now Fuller's. Brew Dog's Punk IPA and Thornbridge's Jaipur show that British brewers can make big, American-style IPAs, and we're getting more of the US beers readily available. And what's happening in the States now? What's creating a beery buzz over there?
Will 2009 be the year we see another big beer style go mainstream?
I may be using some of the answers to this for a commercial project for which I will be paid money. If this offends your sensibilities and you feel it contravenes the unwritten ethics of blogging I apologise. I'm making this clear so that if you object, you can choose to withhold comment. But if you don't mind, I'd love to hear what you think and would hope that it would create an interesting thread!