When we finally close the book on 2015, it’ll be a story we tell for years to come. Plot twists, cliff hangers, tales of joy and woe—the beer industry gave us all that and more. Brewery growth in the United States (4,000-plus and counting) and around the world kept brewers busy. Once the calendar flips, we’ll be counting down until the U.S. will pass its pre-Prohibition brewery number.
Sales had a lot of people talking and finger wagging, as breweries merged and sold stakes to larger companies and private equity firms. Endless conversations were had online and among consumers on what these sales and deals—Lagunitas, Firestone Walker, Golden Road, Elysian, 10 Barrel, Dogfish, Abita and so many others—mean for the industry in both the short and long term. Perhaps the biggest unknown that will play out in the coming year is the AB InBev acquisition of SABMiller. Chris Shepard dives deeper into some of these transactions in his Industry Insights column.
There’s no denying that this was the summer of hard root beer and shandies, and autumn saw a resurgence of Oktoberfest lagers. Next year could be all about nitro, with Samuel Adams rolling out some new products and stalwart Guinness trying its hand on styles other than stout.
What else is on tap for 2016? Check out Heather Vandenengel’s look ahead to 2016 with festival selections, beer releases and more.
While it’s cold across much of North America, the Southern Hemisphere is headed into summer, and Ken Weaver explains why beers generously hopped with varietals from that area of the planet are now trending.
Like so many of you, I’m a fan of beer. I look forward to trying new offerings from breweries, visiting in person and checking out stainless steel equipment of all sizes, and gathering with friends for pints.
This magazine is the first draft of history for the beer world, and this issue wraps up our 35th Anniversary coverage. Looking back on all we’ve covered, it’s been amazing to see how often this industry repeats itself with trends, but always builds upon previous incarnations. That’s our plan for year 37.
Look for changes in this magazine and on allaboutbeer.com as well. New columns are planned, and we’re working with reporters both established and new on expansive 2016 coverage.
This is a time of year where we find ourselves giving thanks. On behalf of all the editorial staff of the magazine, and our talented and passionate writers, I express my sincere thanks to you, our loyal readers, for your support, your feedback, and giving us the opportunity to do a job and have a career that we greatly enjoy.
John is the editor of All About Beer Magazine and the author of three books, including The American Craft Beer Cookbook. Find him on Twitter @John_Holl.