What’s Brewing in the World of Ales in 2023

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With accounting for 30% of total restaurant revenue, it’s important to offer a diverse beer menu. Learn about the brews, tastes, and pours that are driving craft beer trends in 2023.

Breweries are seeking more nuanced flavors and bolder aromas by using concentrates packed with thiols to achieve a range of citrusy notes. Also, brewing with non-traditional ingredients like coconut water and fruit is growing in popularity.

Chili Beer

As the craft beer movement continues to grow, more and more breweries are experimenting with adding spice to their beers. While tomato beers and beet beers have waxed and waned in popularity over the years, chili pepper beers are sticking around.

What type of chili pepper a brewer uses and when they add it to the beer can dramatically impact how hot, flavorful and aromatic a resulting beer will be. For instance, raw jalapenos pair well with light lagers while roasted chiles bring a complementary earthy and nutty component to dark beer styles.

To ensure the beer turns out as intended, many brewers will brew a separate batch of their base recipe without any chili peppers and then blend the two beers after fermentation has finished to determine how much heat they want to add. Visit craft beer shops.

Coffee Beer

Those who love both coffee and beer will be happy to know that craft breweries have a new way of combining the two. It may seem like a strange pairing, but in fact, they’re a match made in heaven.

Coffee and beer flavors share a similar range, from nutty and roasty to citrusy and fruity. Adding coffee to beer helps accentuate those flavor profiles, especially in dark ale styles like porter and stout.

Founders Breakfast Stout, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout and Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight are among the most well-known examples of coffee beer. But now, brewers are taking the concept further by making coffee lagers, cream ales and even coffee IPAs. They’re also trying a variety of beans and grinds to find the best flavor combinations.

Juicy Beer

In just a few short years, New England-style IPA—also known as juicy or Hazy IPA—has gone from an obscure curiosity to a trend-setting innovation replicated around the world. This beer style, with its abundance of citrus and tropical aromas and flavors, low bitterness, and smoothie-level creaminess, is a refreshing departure from the beers that came before it.

Hill Farmstead was one of the first breweries to offer these beers, and they quickly gained popularity among craft beer drinkers. But many brewers initially wrote off these beers, seeing them as inferior and a passing fad that was based on poor craftsmanship.

This is unfortunate because many breweries that are currently lusting for that juicy profile are doing it wrong. They are hopping at such rates that the delicate impressions of fruity hops are lost.

Local Beer

The brewers of the world are experimenting with local ingredients, using the terroir of beer to create unique flavors. While brewing can’t give you a taste of the place where a beverage was made like wine can, that doesn’t mean brewers aren’t trying to use their craft to show love for the communities they serve.

Local breweries use ingredients from nearby farms to create one-of-a-kind beers that can’t be found anywhere else. Valley Malt in Hadley, for example, collaborates with local growers to source organic grains and hops for brewing. Locally brewed beers can also incorporate specialty ingredients, such as cranberries, pumpkin, honey or apples. This local flavor adds a fun twist to an otherwise familiar drink.


In a craft beer market that is constantly shifting and growing, sour beers have been one of the biggest trends to emerge in recent years. Thanks to innovative breweries and mad scientist homebrewers who push the boundaries, there are now several unique sour styles that range from tart to mouth-puckeringly acidic.

Brewers are experimenting with adding non-grain fermentable options into the mash, including vegetables, fruit and honey, and racking beers into used barrels to give them a sour twist. Balanced acidity, harmonious complexity and the absence of any jarring off flavors are desirable for most sours.

Sour beers span centuries of Western brewing traditions, from the berry-tart Flanders red ales and Belgian-style lambics to the bubbly Berliner weisses and salty goses of Germany. These complex and varied beers pair well with hearty comfort foods, such as stews or braised meats.

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