As the US reflects on record exports to the UK in 2016, we catch up with Bob Pease, the CEO of the US Brewers’ Association, to review some of the trends emerging in the ever vibrant brewing scene in UK
The USA saw the dollar and volume share of small and independent breweries in its country continue to grow, although the buying spree of AB-Inbev and Molson Coors has served to slow down the growth of market share.
The US now has more than 5,300 breweries, a growth of over 16% with doors opening on more than 800 new breweries during 2016. The small and independent sector represents 12.3% of market share by volume, a growth rate of some 7%.
While sessionable lagers and canned beers are leading the growth curve, IPAs still rule, accounting for roughly a quarter of all beer sales, according to Bob Pease, CEO of the US Brewers Association.
Quality remains of the utmost concern with Neil Witte, formerly of Boulevard Brewing, taking over the role of its quality ambassador.
Training on food matching will see further investment, as a video version of the BA’s acclaimed Beer & Food Course is made available later in the year.
'We want to go beyond the traditional food matches,' said Pease, reflecting on the sophistication of the pairings being explored. 'More like lemon custard with a saison.'
While there will always be room for highly customised 75cl bottles, in general 'sharing bottles are in decline,' says Pease. Cans however, are in vogue, no longer seen as an inferior but rather a superior, more sustainable method of packaging.