Beer Styles that Need to Make a Comeback: Experts Weigh In

A stocked beer shelf featuring a bunch of different styles

There is more to beer than the styles and trends that dominate the market. Hazy IPAs, Sours, Milkshake, and Pastry beers are riding a wave of popularity right now and are all over tasting rooms and taps. There are plenty of beer styles that could use some attention. I asked some brewers and industry folks what style they would like to see make a comeback.

Mark Haynie, Beer Writer, At The Shore

ESB (Extra Special Bitter)“It combines a perfect balance of malt and hop bitterness and it is easy drinking, which makes it a great session beer.”

Michael Broderson, Pinelands Brewing Company

Barley Wine“…full-bodied with both malt and strong hop characteristics. It also ages well and drinks smooth. We need to teach people to sip and enjoy their beer again instead of guzzling it.”

Shawn Grigus and Gayle D’Abate, Tomfoolery Brewing

Brown Ales“They are crisp and clean, but not as bright and hoppy as a Pale Ale, and not as malty as a Bock. It also has more flavor than a Lager, but not in your face like a Porter or Stout which makes it the perfect in-between beer.”

Billy Topley, Ludlam Island Brewery

Helles Lager – Head Brewer Joey Laluk will be brewing a Smoked Helles Lager this fall. This beer is fashioned after an old German brewery and malt house. Because the barley was roasted in house it gave all the beers a slight smokey flavor. “I can’t wait for this one, and we will let you know when it’s ready!”

Jon Henderson, AC Beer & Music Fest & Witch-Craft Beer Festival

Belgian Whites“I don’t get too hopped out, and I can drink a few. Plus it’s a style that has to be done well in order to it to be crushable.”

Josh Kitzlaff & Pete Steele, Eight & Sand Beer Company

Altbier“It’s a balanced style with tons of malt character and light crispness to it. Add some Noble hops and you have a pretty refreshing beer.”

English Dark Mild“I think we can all agree on this one. Although Yards Brewing keeps this style on our minds, I don’t think it is a natural phenomenon. Again, nice malt characteristics and highly crushable.”

A variety of craft beer styles in their respective glasses

Chris Mazzone, Eight & Sand Beer Company

Berliner Weisse“It’s a great session beer and refreshing. While Fruited Berliners are nice, I want just a clean, crisp one with no adjuncts.”

Adam Curnow, Garden State Beer Company

Lagers“Something clean, crisp, and refreshing. With those styles dominating the market, sometimes I just crave a regular beer. Especially after a long brew day. They’re more difficult to brew too, which would be a welcome challenge.”

Jim Sacco, Vinyl Brewing Company

Best Bitters“Sessionable all-day drinkers. A lot of flavor in a low ABV beer.”

Tara Nurin, Writer Forbes, NJ Monthly, What’s On Tap Show

Brown ale. Maybe nut brown.  Or Kentucky Common ale.“…because I no longer have to wish for a porter revival and Kentucky Common…because it is an almost lost style. It is one of the very few native to the states.”

Jason Chapman, Pinelands Brewing Company

Altbier and Hybrid styles like a Kölsch“There are some of them around but not many. I brewed an Altbier in 2013 when I was home brewing called Alternative Motives-I may need to bring that back.”

Shawn Iuliucci, Atco Brewing Company

German Pilsner“Because you can’t hide anything in a German Pilsner.”

Tony Iocono, Two Brewthers Podcast

Balanced IPA“I would say a well balanced IPA, everyone has gone to the extremes of each IPA style from the west coast to the NEIPA to even bruts and milkshakes. I think a simple balance of a good hop profile and citrus notes in a beer is something we need to get back to.”

PJ Windle, Essential Guy Talk

Saison/Farmhouse Ale“The style I don’t think gets enough love might not be something that was here and now is gone, but I think a well done Saison (specifically a sour Saison) or Farmhouse Ale is my choice.”

There is nothing better than walking into a brewery and seeing a diversified tap list. After all, isn’t trying different styles one of the main reasons we visit a brewery? So, get out there and try some styles that have been around for a while and expand your palate.

What beer styles do you think should make a comeback?

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