On tap for 2013: Better beer

A few years ago, my husband and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Roast, celebrity chef Michael Symon’s restaurant at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. Although the meat we ate was certainly the star of the meal, another highlight came before any food was served, when the beer I had ordered was served in an elegant wine glass with a wedge of lemon. Now, I am far from a beer connoisseur, but even I as a relative beer plebeian could appreciate the unexpected aromas and flavors brought out in the beer and how it served as a wonderful aperitif for a great overall dining experience.

The rise of beer to rival wine in terms of class and quality is not news, but it is interesting to watch where beer is headed in the food and beverage scene as a whole. That’s why I read with interest the predictions of Chicago-area distributor Louis Glunz Beer Inc. in terms of the top five beer trends of 2013:

1. Microbreweries still reign supreme. 2013 will see continued support of smaller breweries that prioritize quality over quantity.

2. Local, local, local. An increasing number of bars want beer produced nearby.

3. Higher draft consciousness. Proper draft sanitation will command more attention as more consumers notice the difference it can make.

4. Nitro beer on the rise. The method that leaves beer with less carbon dioxide and more nitrogen than the average ale helps create a thick, creamy head atop the beer, and because nitro beer is softer than traditional carbonation, it promises a creamier and smoother taste.

5. Demand for better beer. Overall, 2013 will bring better-educated drinkers looking for better beer across the board.