As we move into the new year, we see no slowdown in the number of new beers shooting down the perpetual pipeline. It’s growth, growth, and more growth. Popular craft breweries of the Northwest such as Widmer, Ninkasi, Redhook, and Pyramid are getting more and more prolific to cater to the exponentially excited interest of craft beer drinkers. Craft lagers in particular appear to be a returning trend in this post-Prohibition era. It may be less cost effective than brewing ales since these bottom-fermenting brews take more time to condition properly, but just like barrel-aged offerings, our palates are worth the wait.
By looking through these new releases, we see a few other trends such as more fruit, chocolate, and vanilla infused releases, rye beers, and of the lagers, the IPL style is taking shape as a strong contender for a potential new American Brewers Association category.
Many new breweries are always popping up, like the heavily hyped Crux Fermentation Project of Bend, Oregon, with a ton of new bottled beer labels approved for their Tasting Room Series. Anyone who has experienced brewmaster Larry Sidor’s Reserve Series offerings while with Deschutes Brewery across town knows there’s something to the hullabaloo.
Speaking of Deschutes Brewery, they are releasing their Deschutes River Ale in bottles soon. Other throwbacks are hitting the shelves soon, too, like a vintage-labeled Redhook ESB, and the resurgence of Portland Brewing under the NAB/Pyramid house will return with the once popular Zig Zag River Lager. 2013 sure does sound promising. In fact, there is a full spectrum of flavors just waiting to be tapped and uncapped. Here’s a look at a number of new Pacific Northwest craft beer labels to keep an eye out for soon: