2018 is winding down, and oh what a year it’s been! While we certainly won’t win any originality points for writing a recap post, we can’t help but want to look back over some of our favorite moments and trends from the last twelve months. So, pour a pint and join us on this little stroll down memory lane.
First off, here at GrowlerWerks we had product releases, milestones and a whole lot of fun at beer events around the world. In March, we introduced the uKeg Infuser, and with that a whole new door opened for creative craft beer and cocktail experimentation. In June, we launched the ever-stylish uKeg Matte Black in both 64 oz and 128 oz sizes, and our Instagram page has never looked better.
We also took a couple big steps as a company. We moved into a larger expanded office + warehouse here in Portland, OR. We feel so grown up now! And of course, just a few weeks ago we had a whirlwind trip to Europe to introduce the uKeg to our friends in the EU, who had been patiently awaiting their chance to get in on the fun.
All of those things gave us plenty of reason to party, and luckily the beer scene did not let us down. From Oct Fest in New York to the Bend Beer Festival in Oregon, we had our share of opportunities to raise a pint (or more) with beer lovers around the country. We even got to kick off Portland Beer Week with elephants at the Oregon Zoo!
The beer industry itself had a lot to be excited about in 2018 as well. The Great American Beer Festival was bigger than ever, adding 100,000 square feet of exhibition space to accommodate new events, and handing out a whopping 306 medals to 280 breweries across the United States in their annual competition.
The Brewer’s Association published a round-up of stats, showing it was a record year in a number of areas. It’s worth checking out the full report, but highlights include a 5% increase in sales and more than 7,000 breweries in operation (that’s a 20% increase in breweries over 2017!) They also noted that 85% of adults age twenty-one and older live within ten miles of a brewery. So, really no excuse not to keep those uKegs full!
There have been updates in the cider industry as well. The United States Association of Cider Makers added five new ciders to its hard cider style guide. Two of the five were rosé styles, a nod to their growing popularity among cider drinkers. This expanded style guide will give makers and connoisseurs alike a common language when discussing the growing diversification in the market.
While creativity within the cocktail scene abounds, the classics still reign supreme across the globe. Business Insider published a list of the thirty most popular cocktails in the world, and the Old Fashioned held the number one spot for the fourth year in a row. Check out the complete list to see where your favorite drink ranked.
2018 was both a busy and innovative year for craft beverages. We had a blast being a part of it all and can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!