Bored by IPA? Here Are the Craft Beer Trends to Crush in 2016


This is Foaming at the Mouth, Joshua M. Bernstein’s hopped-up adventures in the ever-expanding universe of beer. And yes, he would like another round, please.

Here’s how big America’s brewing scene has ballooned: Even if you visited one brewery daily, it’d take 11-plus years to hit the country’s 4,269 beer makers—the highest number in American history, according to the Brewers Association.

With so many brewers, and only so much liver, it’s simply impossible to sip every beer. To distinguish themselves with flair, breweries are digging deep into the wardrobe of flavor. Last year that meant shandies, radlers, and fruit-infused IPAs, fads that show no signs of relenting. (Might I interest you in Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel session IPA?)

What will 2016 bring? Let’s gaze into our boozy crystal ball:

These German Beers Are Going to Be Big

A decade back, Germany’s lemony, acidic Berliner weisse and tart ‘n salt-sprinkled gose (“goes-uh”) were essentially extinct worldwide. But with beer, as in fashion or food—looking at you, stone-washed jeans and Brussels sprouts—what’s old and overlooked is thrillingly new.

Photo: Danny Kim

This year, these highly refreshing, food-friendly styles (they sing with seafood) are poised to break wide. The best beer-geek shops regularly stock Westbrook Gose and Anderson Valley‘s The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose, as salty and acidic as Andrew Dice Clay.

Now, these German old-timers are poised to become supermarket staples thanks to Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, a gose gone citrusy with grapefruit, and both Bell’s Oarsman Ale and Leinenkugel’s gently sour BeerGarten Tart. These Berliner weisse–style beers are training-wheels sours to help you appreciate the pucker.