Exploring the Craft Beer Industry Trends for 2023

As we all know, the world of craft beer has been on the rise for many years and continues to grow exponentially. As the industry evolves, so do the trends that shape it. In this article, we'll explore the craft beer industry trends for 2023, from the rise of craft beer to innovative brewing techniques and the sustainability and environmental concerns driving the changes. 

The Rise of Craft Beer: A Brief History

Before we dive into the current trends of the craft beer industry, let's take a moment to reflect on its rich history. The craft beer industry began as a rebellion against the mass-produced beers of large commercial breweries. Craft brewers wanted to offer a unique experience with beers that had more character, flavour, and aroma than their mainstream competitors.

The early beginnings of craft beer

Craft beer can be traced back to the 1960s and 70s when homebrewing first became popular. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that the first modern craft breweries emerged.

As the craft beer movement grew, so did the demand for unique and flavourful beers. Craft brewers experimented with different ingredients and brewing techniques to create beers that were unlike anything seen before. The craft beer industry was no longer just a rebellion against big breweries; it became a celebration of creativity and innovation.

The craft beer boom in the 21st century

The craft beer industry boomed in the early 2000s, with exponential growth in the number of breweries, beer styles, and consumer demand. The rise of craft beer was driven by a growing interest in local and artisanal products, a desire for unique and flavourful beer experiences, and the ease of access to information through the internet and social media.

As the craft beer industry grew, it began to attract a wider audience. Beer drinkers who had previously only consumed mass-produced beers started exploring the craft beer world, discovering new and exciting flavours and styles. The craft beer industry also began to attract a younger demographic, with millennials particularly drawn to the unique and creative experience of craft breweries.

Today, the craft beer industry continues to thrive, with new breweries opening up all the time. Craft beer festivals and events are held worldwide, celebrating craft brewers' creativity and innovation. The craft beer industry has come a long way from its humble beginnings, but it remains true to its roots of offering unique and flavourful beer experiences that can't be found anywhere else.

Consumer Preferences Shaping the Industry

As consumer tastes evolve, they drive changes in the craft beer industry. In 2023, three consumer preferences will shape the industry's direction: a shift towards local and artisanal products, the impact of health-conscious consumers, and the role of social media in promoting craft beer.

The shift towards local and artisanal products

The shift towards local and artisanal products is a trend that has been growing for many years and is expected to continue. Consumers want to support local businesses and feel more connected to their communities. They are also more interested in the story behind the products they buy, and craft brewers have been able to tap into that desire by offering unique, small-batch beers made with locally sourced ingredients.

The shift towards local and artisanal products has also led to an increase in craft beer tourism, with consumers travelling to different regions to experience the local beer culture. This trend has particularly benefited small towns and rural areas, where craft breweries have significantly driven economic growth.

The impact of health-conscious consumers

Health-conscious consumers are also driving changes in the craft beer industry, with an increased interest in low-alcohol and low-calorie beers. Brewers are responding to this trend by creating flavourful beers with lower alcohol content and fewer calories. This trend is also driving an interest in beer alternatives, which are low in calories and carbs.

The impact of health-conscious consumers has also led to an increase in beer and wellness events, where consumers can learn about the health benefits of beer and participate in activities like yoga and meditation paired with beer tastings.

The role of social media in promoting craft beer

Social media has played an integral role in the rise of craft beer, and it will continue to shape the industry in 2023. Social media platforms have made it easier for craft brewers to connect with consumers and promote their beers, and consumers are using social media to share their experiences and recommendations. It has facilitated the rise of beer culture, making beer more accessible and a more significant part of people's lives.

Here are some of our favourite craft beer brands on social media.

Wiper and True Brewery, based in Bristol:

Wiper and True Brewery's Instagram.

Stone and Wood, from Byron Bay, Australia:

Stone and Wood Brewery's Instagram.

Lost and Grounded, based in Bristol:

Lost and Grounded Brewers' Instagram.

The role of social media in promoting craft beer has also led to an increase in beer influencers, who use their social media platforms to share their favourite beers and beer-related experiences with their followers. Beer influencers have become an essential part of the craft beer community, with many breweries partnering with them to promote their beers and events.

We love Beer with Nat. 

Beer With Nat's Instagram.

Innovative Brewing Techniques and Ingredients

Craft brewers are always seeking new ways to create unique and exciting beer experiences, and in 2023, it's no different. Innovative brewing techniques and ingredients are expected to drive the industry's direction, with a focus on the resurgence of traditional brewing methods, experimentation with unconventional ingredients, and the influence of global flavours on craft beer.

The resurgence of traditional brewing methods

The craft beer industry has always had a solid connection to tradition, and in 2023, we can expect to see a resurgence of traditional brewing methods. Brewers are exploring historical, time-tested techniques like barrel-ageing, wild yeast fermentation, and mixed fermentation to create beers with complex and unique flavour profiles.

Barrel-ageing is a process that involves ageing beer in barrels that were previously used to age other alcoholic beverages like whiskey, bourbon, or wine. This process imparts unique flavours and aromas to the beer, creating a complex and rich flavour profile. Wild yeast fermentation, on the other hand, involves using yeasts that are naturally present in the air or on fruit skins to ferment the beer. This process results in a funky, sour, or fruity flavour profile unique to each beer batch. Mixed fermentation is a combination of both traditional and wild yeast fermentation, resulting in a beer with a complex and layered flavour profile.

Barrel ageing beer.

Experimentation with unconventional ingredients

Craft brewers are well-known for their willingness to experiment, and we expect this trend to continue in 2023. Brewers use unconventional ingredients like exotic fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and insects to create beers with unusual flavours. These beers are meant to push boundaries and challenge people's perceptions of what beer can be.

Some unconventional ingredients used in craft beer include dragonfruit, yuzu, lemongrass, turmeric, and even crickets. These ingredients can add unique flavours and aromas to the beer, creating a one-of-a-kind drinking experience. For example, using dragonfruit in a beer can add a sweet and tropical flavour profile, while using crickets can add a nutty and earthy flavour.

Picture of dragonfruit.

The Influence of global flavours on craft beer

Globalisation has made it easier for people to try new flavours and experiences from all over the world, and this influence is expected to shape the craft beer industry in 2023. Brewers will be exploring diverse tastes from around the globe, incorporating spices, fruits, and hops with unique flavour profiles. These beers will represent the cultural melting pot of the modern world.

Some examples of global flavours incorporated into craft beer include cardamom, hibiscus, tamarind, and sorghum. These ingredients are commonly used in different cuisines worldwide and can add unique and exciting flavours to beer. For example, using hibiscus in a beer can add a floral and tart flavour profile, while tamarind can add a sweet and sour taste.

Picture of hibiscus and tea.

Overall, the craft beer industry is constantly evolving and pushing boundaries. In 2023, we can expect innovative brewing techniques and ingredients that will take the industry to new heights.

Sustainability and Environmental Concerns

Sustainability and environmental concerns are increasingly important to both consumers and brewers. In 2023, the industry will continue to focus on reducing its environmental impact through eco-friendly packaging, reducing water and energy consumption in brewing, and supporting local agriculture and suppliers.

The push for eco-friendly packaging

The packaging of beer has a significant environmental impact, and brewers are looking for ways to reduce this impact. In 2023, we can expect more eco-friendly packaging options, such as biodegradable cans and bottles and packaging made from recycled materials.

Reducing water and energy consumption in brewing

Brewing beer requires a lot of water and energy, and brewers are looking for ways to reduce their consumption. In 2023, we can expect to see more energy-efficient brewing equipment and processes and efforts to conserve water through recycling and reusing wastewater.

Supporting local agriculture and suppliers

Craft brewers are known for their commitment to sourcing local ingredients. Brewers will continue to work with local farmers and suppliers to source their ingredients, supporting local economies and reducing their environmental impact by minimising transportation emissions.  

‘This commitment is replicated by the consumer looking for locally produced products that reflect their own identity.’


The craft beer industry is constantly evolving, and the trends that shape it are driven by both consumer preferences and the innovative spirit of craft brewers. In 2023, we can expect to see a continuation of many of the trends that have been shaping the industry, with a focus on local and artisanal products, the impact of health-conscious consumers, and the role of social media in promoting craft beer. Innovative brewing techniques and ingredients will continue to push the boundaries of what beer can be, while sustainability and environmental concerns will drive the industry to create a more sustainable and planet-friendly future.

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