When it comes to beer, it’s easy to get comfortable, reaching for the same 6-pack on your way through the grocery store each time and never thinking twice about it. This year, though, consider the advice of brewers and beer pros as you expand your horizons and try new things.
From cleaner, more modern takes on classic styles like West Coast IPAs, to a lower-alcohol alternative to a traditionally heavy beer, there are more options in the beer aisle now than ever before. We asked nine brewers what styles they’d like to see more people order this year. Here’s what they recommended.
The beers you should be ordering more of this year, according to brewers:
- West coast IPA
- Fresh beer
- Dark lager
- English ales
- Hazy IPAs
“What excites me as a brewer is seeing more lagers ordered these days, which is something we truly enjoy making at Anchor Brewing as well. I am also seeing more Mexican-style lagers entering the scene. While difficult to make well, they are generally lighter bodied and easy to drink. I have seen a measurable uptick in rice lagers again, too. I am always happy to consume these ‘easier’ brews and ones where there is ‘nowhere to hide.’ It demonstrates the pure craft we all enjoy in the brewhouse.” —Dane Volek, brewmaster, Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco
“I would love to see more people ordering porters in 2023. The style is in our blood as Pennsylvanians as it has a long history. Although its flavors are bold, there is a very delicate balance and there is really nothing like it when you find a fine example.” —Jason Ranck, head brewer, Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company, Croydon, Pa.
“In 2023, let’s all drink more fresh beer! Most beers taste the best when they’re fresh, especially hoppy beers. This is true for the fan-favorite hazy IPAs and some of our favorite styles here at Triple Bottom — West Coast IPAs and dry-hopped lagers. So for 2023, go forth and drink the freshest beer you can find. (And the freshest beer is usually at your local brewery.)” —Tess Hart and Kyle Carney, co-founders, Triple Bottom Brewing, Philadelphia
“Dark Lager. For too long, people have associated dark beer with heavy or high alcohol. Both of our Czech dark lagers are sub-5.5 percent and dry and crushable. Don’t be afraid!” —Jake Atkinson, co-founder, Human Robot Brewery, Philadelphia
“As an unabashed Californian and scuba diving enthusiast, I like to mix my love of beer and hobby. I won’t hide my love of hops, and a clean West Coast IPA is my go-to, a way to clear your head from all the haze these days. One that I would love to see more people drinking this year is ‘Garibaldi’ from Old Possum Brewing in Santa Rosa. The beer pours a lovely gold (while not brilliantly clear, it would not qualify as a hazy), with notes of berry, citrus, and pine on the nose, brought by Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic hops. A clean finish leads you right into another sip.” —Bryan Donaldson, brewing innovation manager, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif.
“Whether it was an hour ago, a day ago, or a week ago, I can think of no better benchmark of success in 2023 than for people to return to the beer they most recently had, simply because it was delicious.” —Sean Lilly Wilson, CEO, Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, N.C.
“English ales. Unlike some of the current IPAs that rely almost solely on hops for their flavor, English ales are comprised of a more complex malt profile, noble hops, and yeast with a more floral-forward ester profile. With many styles being under 4 percent, English ales are also super sessionable, so you can have a few half-liter mugs in a night and not worry about the morning-after consequences.” —Kyle Wolak, co-owner, Carbon Copy, Philadelphia
“The craft beer scene is always evolving, and we’re starting to see people veer from fan favorites like IPAs and pilsners to the kind of beer I want to brew — classic lagers, amber ales, Belgian-style beers, and lower-ABV beers that still pack a flavor punch. This year, I hope people keep reaching for those ‘crushable’ beers but look to styles like fruited witbiers, ultra session IPAs, or Belgian singles. Those beers are on our brew list this year because we like the way those styles taste — and we have to admit, they are pretty dang easy drinking.” —Skyler Bateman, head brewer, Ponysaurus Brewing Co., Durham, N.C.
“I have a passion for hazy IPAs. You can let your imagination go wild with different flavors within the same beer style. We’ve brewed a series of them from a classic hazy to a fruited hazy to a dark roasted hazy. Our best Hazy IPA so far is our hometown namesake, Juneau Juice, that comes out this spring. We took everything we loved about the hazy IPA style and poured it into this one.” —Robert Day, operations manager and brewer, Alaskan Brewing, Juneau, Alaska.