2013 Predictions

Trying to guess what is going to happen over the course of a year is a fun process, even if it is relatively pointless. My first crack last year went pretty well, so I decided to go another round. The stakes are the same (ie. there are none), but it would be nice to beat last year’s score (71%). To make things a little more interesting, the number of predictions has been raised to thirty (last year was supposed to be twenty, but a mathematical error meant there were twenty-one).

The predictions also seem to be a rather popular topic that people talk to me about, so I wanted to mention a couple of things. The predictions I make are things that can be answered quantifiably, which makes it hard at times. Nothing about the quality of beer can be mentioned. Some predictions would be too vague and easily debatable (for instance, “Five new good beer bars/restaurants will open in Toronto”). This is part of the reason that so many predictions deal with the LCBO and the type of beers that will appear on their shelves.

The LCBO also features in a lot of the predictions is because it affects the whole province. A lot of interesting, pilot batch beers get released in this province, but most gets bought up by a relatively small (but growing) number of bars or is sold at events. What happens at the LCBO impacts the whole province and reflects the larger changes happening in the Ontario beer world. Keeping those factors in mind, here are the 2013 Predictions!

  • Three new beers will be released into the LCBO from Ontario breweries that are Belgian in style. (Hybrid styles like a Belgian IPA will be worth a half point.)
  • One Ontario brewery will go out of business.
  • Five Ontario beers will end the year with scores of 100 on Ratebeer. Bonus point if one is Great Lakes Dirtbag McQuaig’s Malt Liquor For Fine Gentlemen. (There are currently zero as of Jan 1/2013.)
  • One new brewery will be announced in Toronto within the borders of Broadview, Lakeshore/Lake Ontario, Victoria Park and O’Connor/St Clair East.
  • Two Canadian breweries will be purchased by multinational corporations. One will be an Ontario brewery.
  • A Black Oak beer other than the Pale Ale or Nut Brown will appear on LCBO shelves.
  • The LCBO will release eight new barrel or oak aged beers from Ontario breweries.
  • Two new beers from Ontario with an ABV of 4.5% or under will be released at the LCBO.
  • There will be a gueuze or lambic at the LCBO (not including the Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene). People will go crazy for it and lineups may ensue.
  • An Ontario beer will be released at the LCBO that costs more than $15/bottle.
  • At least one new beer will appear at the LCBO for Ontario Craft Beer Week. (Or a week or two after. It is the LCBO after all!)
  • An Ontario brewery will release a collaboration beer with a non-Ontario brewery/brewer and the beer will be in the LCBO.
  • An Ontario brewery will get an LCBO brewery feature. (A co-feature would not could, but collaboration beers would be okay.)
  • There will be an Ontario beer in the LCBO that (purposefully) contains either the brettanomyces or lactobacillus yeast. Bonus point if it contains both yeasts.
  • The LCBO will once again sell a beer via lottery.

As with last year, there is a 2013 Predictions page setup to keep a tally throughout the year and I will post updates when they occur.

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8 responses to “2013 Predictions

  1. Most of your predictions definitely sound highly possible! If most of these come true, 2013 will be a key maturation point for Ontario beer.

    Looking forward to your 2013 prediction updates. Cheers

  2. Will Radical Road count towards the barrel-aged count, even though it’s already a given that it will be on shelves? Also, I think in the past, LCBO has released Mort Subite Geueze. If that happens again, no line ups will be created. Are the line-ups a key factor?

    • Yes, the Radical Road will count – I doubled the number of barrel aged beers from four to eight last night because four seemed like a slam dunk, no doubter.

      Line-ups are not required, but it should be a new gueuze/lambic in the LCBO.

  3. Re: RB/BA: 5 with 100! That seems pretty ambitious. What do you think the chances are of an Ontario beer breaking the top 15 beers in Canada are this year?

    The highest currently are Flying Monkeys’ BNL, #17 on RB (http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/country/canada/39/), and Black Oak’s 10 Bitter Years, #17 on BA (http://beeradvocate.com/lists/top-ca). Think Ontario might have two in the top 15 of either list?

    • My prediction came from the fact that a lot of the better rated Ontario beers on RB were from the past year (BNL, Twice as Mad Tom, Witch Shark, 25th Anniversary beers from Great Lakes). With more ratings I could see Witch Shark or Twice as Mad Tom making a big jump. There’s also the big unknown of what new beers will come out in 2013. For the same reason, it seems possible that a beer or two cracks the top 15 for Canada on RB or BA.

  4. It’s much tougher to climb the Ratebeer lists without having fairly wide distribution than it used to be – Bellwoods won’t do it without getting fairly broad distribution or some dedicated trading happening. Twice as Mad could do it.

    • I definitely see Bellwoods being sought after in trades, especially thanks to Stephen Beaumont naming it his Ontario brewery of the year. The permanent retail store opening soon will also help.

  5. great predictions! I’m hoping for the sessionable/low abv beers availabilities! (also I see no mention of asparagus beer…)

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