While much of the world might be taking cues from the American craft brew scene, that does not mean that other nations do not have their own innovation and evolution going on. In fact, the UK has some interesting trends emerging that might have the potential to cross the pond and start making waves here in the US. Getting a peek at these before they start to make inroads into American beer consumption can offer some benefits. What's happening in the UK beer scene?
Cider, Cider Everywhere
One of the most notable changes in the UK beer scene is the number of hard ciders that are becoming popular. While hard cider has been available (and somewhat popular) in the US for years, it is truly taking off in popularity in England, where it has become a trendy alternative to traditional beer for female drinkers. Cider offers fruity flavors, and can pack quite an alcoholic punch, as well, but is very different than beer, which makes it preferable for some drinkers.
Ginger beer is nothing new – it's been around since the 18th century, and has been used in both the UK and in the US. In fact, ginger ale (the soft drink) is a direct descendant of ginger beer, which began declining in popularity around the time of Prohibition. However, in England at least, ginger beer is beginning to become quite popular once more.
In fact, the market for ginger beer in the UK is growing so quickly that there are now numerous different brands featuring their own special recipe. You'll find Stone's (founded in 1740) is one of the leading manufacturers here, and recently introduced their newest ginger beer option – Ginger Joe.
Many people are likely familiar with the exploits of BrewDog, the Scottish brewery that created Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck. However, BrewDog is not the only UK brewery getting into the extreme beer market. While they might have pioneered the way, more and more breweries are following their lead and UK drinkers now have access to a tremendous number of extreme brews.
These are only a few of the ongoing trends in the UK that beer lovers should be aware of. Each of these has the potential to hit the American market hard as craft brewers continue to look for innovative ways to create and expand the offerings of the beverages they love.