Cold IPAs and innovative fruity beers to rule 2024: forecast for beer trends in India

As we sit down to reflect on the past year and welcome the new one, it’s both an amazing journey and an exciting exploration into what the future holds for the world of beer. As trends come and go, we look back at the past year, and gaze into the future to discern the trends that will shape the world of beer in the coming months. Abhinav Jindal, Founder and CEO of Kimaya Himalayan Beverages, shares an industry insight on beer trends for 2024.

Reflecting on the Past Year

  1. Resurgence of Lager and Pilsner Styles – In the past year, we witnessed a resurgence of lager and pilsner styles. These classics, known for their refreshing and crisp profiles, found a renewed appreciation not only among the giants of the industry but also within the niche of smaller craft breweries.
  2. The Cold IPA Revolution: Lager-Styled Innovation – A standout creation gaining traction was the Cold IPA, a lager-styled India Pale Ale. Departing from the familiar ale style, this cold-fermented IPA introduced a refreshing twist to the beer landscape. It’s not just ale that holds its place; lager, too, had its moment to shine. At Kimaya, we’ve actively worked on perfecting the Cold IPA, adding a new dimension to beer enthusiasts’ experiences.
  3. Industry Outlook – Looking back, the beer industry in India experienced overall growth, marked by a surge in new entrants and exciting innovations. However, the Northern region faced a challenge with a 15-20% decline on a yearly basis. Despite this setback, the resilience of the industry is evident, and as we transition into the New Year, optimism prevails among the brewers.

Forecasting New Year Trends

  • Anticipating a Northern Surge in 2024 – Looking ahead to the new year, there’s genuine excitement about sales prospects in the Northern region. My personal prediction is of a solid 20-30% uptick from the previous year’s numbers. Hence a robust number growth is expected.
  • Embracing Tropical and Fruity Flavors – The evolving beer landscape in the New Year promises a massive resonance with tropical and fruity notes. Consumers are increasingly interested in hazy fruity tropical pilsners and other experimental choices. Clean and crisp styles like lagers are expected to dominate across both commercial and craft brewery platforms.
  • Continued Preference for Classic Styles and Strong Beers with Higher IBUs – While innovation is on the rise, there’s a continued preference for classic styles. Clean and crisp lagers and pilsners will remain popular choices. An inclination towards Strong beers characterised by higher IBUs (International Bitterness Units) will be seen as well. As we approach the upcoming year, it appears that alongside the wave of innovation, there is a robust appreciation for the enduring appeal of classic beer styles, including those with a bolder and more pronounced bitterness.

In conclusion, the past year has been a journey of adaptation and resilience for the beer industry. As we step into the new year, I express my confidence in the trajectory of the brewing landscape. The focus on innovative styles like Cold IPA, the anticipated growth, and the experimentation with the tropical and fruity flavours all point towards an exciting and dynamic year ahead for beer enthusiasts and brewers alike. Cheers to a year of growth, exploration, and a fresh wave of beer trends!