But this is a special occasion – we open a new decade, with the opportunity to make predictions for the next ten years. The responsibility weighs heavily upon my weary shoulders.
Prediction 1 – this year, just about every industry conference or business convention will make predictions for the next decade, and call itself 2020 Vision. Remember the Malthouse got in first.
Prediction 2 – Half of the people reading this will be millionaires in 2030 because the other half bought them houses. Today you live in a three-bedroom house, earn 10% of the house’s value each year, take 30 minutes to get to work, and feel poor. In 2030 you will live in the same house, earn 5% of its value each year, take 60 minutes to get to work, and feel rich.
Prediction 3 – THC/CBD will be The New IPA©. Remember where you heard it first. Or maybe write it down so you don’t forget it.
Prediction 4 – any predictions ten years out are highly likely to be way wrong. We are either totally over-ambitious (eg, flying cars by 2000), or totally miss tiny things that grow suddenly. Did anyone, anyone at all, show you a photo of a lone willow tree in Lake Wanaka in 2010? And if they did, did you drop everything so you could go there and take the exact same photo to show them back? No, of course you didn’t.
And Tik Tok?! Back in 2010, tick tock is what watches did. You young’uns have no idea. 50 miles to walk to school etc etc etc…
And on that scale of totally over-ambitious, to totally missed, let’s check out the Malthouse Blog predictions for the 2010s, as published in this very organ on 13 January 2010:
“Gazing into my crystal ball (well, actually it is a limited-edition Malthouse glass proposing ‘Cheers For 2010’ filled with Three Boys Golden Ale but the effect is quite similar), I foresee new levels of popularity for cider, wheat beers and pales ales (particularly those in the American style). Let’s examine each prediction of popularity in turn:
“Cider – I really should have published this somewhere around October 2009 when I first began to realise that cider – proper cider, not the sugary nonsense so often served in New Zealand – was going to be big. Now, with shelves everywhere groaning under a seemingly endless array of local and imported ciders and perries this prediction has rather lost its lustre. However, it does mean that for the first time ever I am begin (sic) to contemplate planning a blog post all about cider. Volunteers for a tasting panel should contact Colin, the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scotsman behind the bar.
“Wheat beers – I’m not sure why New Zealanders don’t drink more wheat beers over the summer. At the tastings I regularly run around the region, wheat beers score consistently highly in the popular vote (particularly Tuatara Hefe and Croucher The Hef). For many of the participants, this is their first taste of wheat beers and they like it. Therefore, I confidently predict that more Kiwis will be thinking of hefes and wits as the perfect quenchers on a hot day.
“Pale Ales – In my opinion, the pale ale category is one of the most fiercely contested at both the New Zealand and Australian beer awards. It is a far cry from the situation say seven years ago where the pale ale category was quite anaemic. Pale Ales are on a high in this country with American hops very much in vogue and a number of US-inspired offerings.”
So how’d we do? I give us 1/3.
“New levels of popularity for cider”. No, not really. It’s still a minority interest, and the wide range of sour and fruit beers has captured that end of the flavour spectrum. I rate this prediction as Over-Ambitious.
“I confidently predict that more Kiwis will be thinking of hefes and wits as the perfect quenchers on a hot day”. I rate this prediction as Totally Over-Ambitious. In fact even including the word w**** on a label (let alone the beer’s name) is a commercial kiss-of-death. Do you drink beers with wheat in them? Yes, you do. Do you order wheat beers? No, you don’t.
“Pale Ales are on a high in this country with American hops very much in vogue”. More accurate then we could have ever imagined. And to be fair, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, because a big part of that popularity has been diligently generated by our very own Malthouse West Coast IPA Challenge each year.
So what did we miss?
Sours (as celebrated each year in our very own Malthouse Sour Fest). Ten years ago producing a sour beer was left to bad home brewers.
Haze craze. Ten years ago producing a hazy beer was left to bad home brewers. No Malthouse festival…yet!
Gin is The New IPA©. Ten years ago gin was mothers’ ruin. Now it’s a popular way to experience the botanical and herbal flavours and aromas that big hoppy IPAs have made so popular.
And on that bombshell – join us for Ginhouse Returns, Friday 17 January from 4pm. We will be showcasing three New Zealand award-winning distilleries: Hidden World Gin; Denzien Urban Distillery; and The National Distillery Company. Live acoustic music from 6pm with Simon from The Relatives.
Expect gin matches, gin on tap, frozen gin cocktails and New Zealand’s first Hemp Gin – remember where you heard it first. Or maybe write it down so you don’t forget it.
Friday 17 Jan – Ginhouse Returns with Hidden World Gin; Denzien Urban Distillery; and The National Distillery Company
Friday 24 Jan – Burn’s Night and McLeod’s Tap Takeover. McLeod’s Brewery will be in the ‘house as we celebrate Scotland’s very own Robert Burns. There will be whisky and beer matches, delicious Scottish food and merch giveaways. Tap lineup and whisky matches coming soon.