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Raise those glasses to toast the new year upcoming and allow me to emphasize and add a few “wishes” to this recent list of season’s hopes: LINK.

I covered a few “industry thoughts” last week for Festivus, but in addition, I wish:

~ For more diversification of style, other than hops. As mentioned in the wish list linked above, too many breweries are producing a similar lineup, often emphasizing a full frontal hop assault. I like hops as well as the next guy, but my goodness, sometimes I don’t want to be hammered on hops, dry hops, high gravity hops, hop juice, et cetera. A nice session beer will do. There’s plenty of session IPAs coming out…but let’s see some other styles too.

~ For more German beer. I’ve often lamented that the U.S. examples of German styles is extremely limited. I would argue that many American consumers do not understand nor have they been exposed to the greatness of German beer. Their experience is imports – often not exactly frish or products of large, homoginized breweries – or from quick tours of Europe, where one is typically exposed to major players and less often to the small, family & craft brewers of the land. Trust me, a weissbier, pils, altbier, kölsch, or even a helles can be pretty awesome. There’s a world of lager within just waiting to be explored, prodded and tweaked.

~ For limited self-distribution for start ups and small breweries. Distribution is the big problem for many new entrants into the market. Even a metropolitan area is likely served by only a handful or fewer distributors. It’s a tough, tough path for newcomers and small players, particularly if money is tight.

~ For truth in labeling for beer. Consumers have a right to know who makes or controls their beer brand and where it comes from.

~ For more bottle shopsstocking more and more cooler doors with singles…at fair prices.

~ For proper glassware for each beer style. Rinsing the glass before pouring beer would be even better.

~ For shorter lines at the beer festivals. * sigh *

~ For shorter lines at the W.C. * d’oh! *

~ For an even better 2013. Cheers!

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