Craft Brew Bar StoryCraft Beer Style Trends To Seek Out In Garth’s Brew Bar’s Craft Beer Cooler


The craft beer industry is constantly evolving, with new trends always emerging. Every week we order beers for the reach-in cooler, and we think “This is the best lineup of beers we have”… until the next week, of course.

Here are some of the hottest beer trends and examples of brews in our reach-in cooler. Don’t sleep on ‘em. 

Easy-drinking Beers Gets Easier

Maybe brewers are collectively working to get this year to be “The Year Of The Lager” or they’re aware that beer drinkers simply crave more sessionable beers for more occasions. Several factors, including the growing health consciousness of beer drinkers, the increasing variety of outdoor activities, and the rising cost of raw ingredients, drive this trend. As a result, we’re seeing a surge in the popularity of beers like lagers, pilsners, and wheat beers – many of which are doing so with a twist.

Check The GBB Cooler 

  • Balance of Time Kolsch from Wild Mind Ales – A reach back into history with old-world pilsner malt and noble hops
  • Clean Up Crew Lager from Drekker – You’ll love the fruity impact of the Thiolized yeast they used
  • P3 Czech-Style Pilsner from Phase Three – We’re loving all the varieties of pilsners: German, Italian, and Polish, but the Czech is one of our favs

Sours That Land Outside The Spectrum

There’s no shortage of sour styles and brewing practices when it comes to the spectrum of tart and sweetly fruity beers. We’re seeing a slight movement away from brewers touting the kettle-souring process and more brewers crafting sours with a big scoop of nostalgia: Peanut Butter and Jelly sours, Arnold Palmer sours, Berry Captain Crunch sours, and so on.

Check The GBB Cooler 

  • Arnie Prrrty from Drekker – Basically an arnold palmer turned into a smoothie sour beer
  • Hawaiian Shirt Party from The Brewing Projekt – A tropical cocktail in a beer-can

No Stopping The Hazy Craze 

Hazy IPAs, also known as New England IPAs, have been one of the hottest trends in craft beer in recent years. These beers are characterized by their hazy appearance, smooth mouthfeel, and fruity flavors. Hazy IPAs are made with a blend of hops known for their tropical and citrusy aromas and oftentimes wheat to give it the signature haze. It’s remarkable what brewers are doing to push the limits of the traditional hazy IPA. With over 250 cataloged hop varieties to work with and new ones being bred each year, brewers have much to play with including very interesting varieties from New Zealand such as Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, Riwaka, and Necteron. Non-vegetal hop extracts and thiols such as Spectrum, Incognito and Phantasm bring lots of tropical flavors without the overwhelming bitterness appeal to “hop heads” and those new IPAs. Check out our previous post on hops for more on the IPA beer style.. 

Check The GBB Cooler 

  • Hooey from Lupulin Brewing – Simcoe, Citra, El Dorado, Mosaic, Amarillo, Mandarina Bavaria hops
  • Hatch Shell from Trillium Brewing – Dry-hopped with Rakau, Kohatu, Motueka, Simcoe and Cryo Simcoe hops

Anything And Everything Into The Barrel

Barrel-aged beers are made by aging beer in used barrels that have previously held other alcoholic beverages, such as wine, whiskey, or brandy. This process imparts the beer with complex flavors and aromas from the barrel and the residual liquid it contains. In the last few years, brewers have been pushing the limits of barrel-aged beers by using more than just traditional bourbon barrels (think tequila, port or sherry, rum, and even bourbon barrels that have held maple syrup) and have begun putting untraditional beer styles in them (rather than imperial stouts, you’ll find barrel-aged golden ales, Oktoberfests, and sours). 

Check The GBB Cooler 

  • The Kindness trap from Oliphant Brewing
  • Keep an eye out in December – we’ll be releasing our 4th anniversary bourbon barrel-aged beer brewed with G5 Brewing and aged in Dancing Goat Distillery Limousine Rye barrels 

Craft Beer Collaborations Continue 

Craft brewery collaborations are becoming increasingly common. These collaborations allow breweries to share their skills and expertise and create innovative beers. A growing trend that’s even more exciting is breweries collaborating for the greater good. Inviting non-profits or partnering with other small businesses can be a win-win and build awareness for the brewery and organizations doing good. 

For example the Pink Boots Society – an organization that aims to help women and non-binary people in the alcoholic beverage industry advance their careers through education – crank out beers quite regularly here in Wisconsin. Even though Garth’s doesn’t brew our own beer, we constantly seek out great Wisconsin breweries to collaborate with. 

Check The GBB Cooler 

  • Modist Brewing + Phase Three:  Marble Sky Double Dry Hopped New England Triple IPA
  • Humble Forager + Skateboard Alec Majerus: Flip Tricks Hazy IPA
  • Lupulin Brewing + Garth’s Brew Bar: Dance In The Rain Dark Czech Lager

Elevating Beer With Infusions

Craft beer cocktails and infusions can be a great way to enjoy craft beer flavors in a new and exciting way. Breweries with a liquor license are creating cocktails that combine craft beer with other ingredients, such as spirits, liqueurs, and fruits. Some popular craft beer cocktails include the Moscow Mule with a Blood Orange IPA, the Old Fashioned with a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout, and the Margarita with a Mexican Lager. For those without a hard liquor license (like us!), we rely on infusions to stand out, such as Count Chocula cereal with a Peanut Butter Porter or fresh fruits with a Pale Ale. As much fun as it is to make your own mixed drink with beer, sometimes it’s nice when the brewery does it for you. Such as….

Check The GBB Cooler 

  • Public Brewing’s Honey Jalapeno Margarita Sour 
  • G5’s G5% Garden Time Sour
  • Drekker’s Royal Bee Honey Cream IIPA

As the craft beer industry evolves, you know where you can find the most exciting beer trends. 

Keep an eye on our Untappd page to see the latest beers we carry.


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