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Find out all about what's going on with us here at Hankscraft AJS. Read up on what's happening with us in the news as well as all of the new and exciting tap handle and related products we're producing for our partners

and clients. Check back often for new updates!


Breweries are constantly looking for new ways to stay up with trends and us here at Hankscraft AJS want to help you with that. We had our team look into some of the upcoming trends of 2024 to help your brewery stay relevant and hip.

  1. Taprooms Put a Premium on Service and Hospitality.

If you're focusing on just getting beer to customers, it is time to put in a little more effort. people have found that guests that go to taprooms are not only looking for good beer, but also a good experience. "Even if the beer is excellent, subpar service can leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths. The consumer experience in our taproom has to be best in class,” says Anthony Martuscello, the founder and president of WestFax Brewing in Lakewood, Colorado. “Just like you want consumers to drink more than one pint, you want them to continue to come back.” 

2. Breweries Get More Creative With Festivals and Events

Festivals and other events still have not fully recovered since COVID-19, so to get those casual beer drinkers off their couches and into your events, breweries need to be more creative. In 2023, StormBreaker rebooted its Brewstillery Fest, pairing local distillers and brewers to curate a spirit-and-beer pairing. The Snallygaster Festival in Washington, D.C., combines rare beers with wine, cocktails, and live music, while Barrel & Flow Fest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, centers Black brewers alongside musicians, artists, and nonprofits. 

3. More Brewers Pursue Non-Alcoholic and Mindful-Drinking Options

It is becoming more and more popular for people to either give up drinking completely or to cut down on their alcohol consumption. Now this news could freak many breweries out and cause a panic, but there is a way to adjust to this latest trend. More and more breweries are offering non-alcoholic versions of some of their beers. “Not every occasion calls for a beer,” says Lesley Albright, the vice president of marketing for Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina. The company is launching the non-alcoholic Trail Pass line, including an IPA and a golden ale, and adding Hop Splash Citrus, a non-alcoholic hop water. With the introduction of Hop-infused beverages, it secures new drinking occasions and widens your consumer base.

4. Beverage Companies Are Ditching Carbonation

Molson Coors is keying on bloating carbonation as a tension point for of-age Generation Z consumers. “We think a large group of consumers will be entering their ‘bubble-free’ era in 2024,” says Jamie Rotnicki, the vice president of innovation for Molson Coors. This March, the company will release the Happy Thursday “spiked still refresher” in bold flavors like pineapple starfruit. Happy Thursday will join Funny Water, a low-ABV line of flavored alcoholic waters, and NOCA’s uncarbonated boozy waters and hard iced tea.

5. Breweries Will Share Resources and Survive

“Breweries that don’t have the required scale to achieve massive national distribution, but aren’t small enough to be hyperlocal, will feel the squeeze,” says consultant Chris McClellan, the founder of Resin and the Draught Shop.  Market pressures will lead to consolidations and alliances to cut costs and fill excess capacity. By sharing spaces that your brewery may not need all that space for at the time may help you survive this tough market. There is always room for growth and by sharing space does not mean your company will not grow, it's a jumping off point that will help you cut costs and stay afloat long enough to get your brewery off the ground and running.

6. Branded Values Become a Big Selling Point

“Consumers are looking past the product itself and more at the company they’re buying from,” says Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine. Lucky Envelope, a Chinese-American brewery in Seattle, makes beers with Asian ingredients like pandan leaves and hosts an annual Lunar New Year celebration. “There will be a more concerted push to appeal to a diverse, atypical beer drinker,” says Barry Chan, the cofounder and head brewer. Now that you've made good beer, it is time to stand out. By pushing your companies values, it makes your company more personable, causing more people to be drawn to you and your company.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to fly to Denver and attend the Great American Beer Festival, one of my favorite events in the beer world.

With so many amazing breweries packed into a small place, it’s the perfect place to meet up with old friends, make some new ones, and try beers you’ve never heard of and probably would never try otherwise.

GABF can be almost overwhelming to anyone. Rows on rows of tables, taps and menus left and right. The smell of beer and the sound of bagpipes and funk music - a chaos of the senses that I think captures the craft industry very well.

After some time of taking in the atmosphere and getting my bearings, it was time to work making my way up and down the rows. The most notable pours I had were from some of my favorite breweries like Great Divide Brewing Company's Yeti Stout aged in Laws Whisky Barrels, Sad Panda from Horse and Dragon Brewing Company, and the Western Pils from Howdy Beer. I even had the chance to try some beers that I normally wouldn’t order like the Five Alarm Mango from Barebottle Brewing Co. and the Cream Cheese Rangoon Gose from Weldwerks Brewing, both of which I was pleasantly surprised by.

My trip to Denver wasn’t all about GABF though.

Back in 2019 when I was set to graduate from my undergrad, I set a goal to visit 100 different breweries within the state of Colorado. This seemed easy in 2019 when I was working as a bartender. When the pandemic hit, normal adult life started, and I moved from Colorado to Wisconsin it seemed like it would never happen. It wasn’t until I counted the stickers and photos on my phone that I realized I only needed to visit 5 more breweries to reach my goal. In between the GABF kickoff parties, I decided to sneak away and finish my list. I started my day in Fort Collins and made my way to Weldwerks Brewing in Greeley. Along that drive, I visited Maxline Brewing, Zwei Brewing, High Hops Brewery, and Peculiar Ales. I wrapped up my adventure in Greeley, where my beer journey began, with a relatively new brewery that’s making beers you’d want to have again. Rule 105 Brewing was my 100th brewery, where I had a sampling of the classic beers they make, my favorite being the Sonnensaft Krystallweizen.

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  • Writer's pictureHankscraftAJS

Many beer lovers know of the iconic Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany and dream about experiencing this global symbol of Bavarian tradition. This year, I had the pleasure to head to Europe to experience this event and cross it off my bucket list.

The festival is deeply ingrained in Munich's cultural heritage and has become a global symbol of Bavarian tradition and celebration. Dating back to 1810, when it originated as a royal wedding celebration, Oktoberfest has grown into the world's largest Volksfest, attracting millions of visitors from around the globe.

At its core, Oktoberfest is a jubilant event dedicated to showcasing Bavarian culture, including its rich traditions, authentic cuisine, lively music, and, of course, an impressive array of local beers. Visitors dress in traditional Bavarian attire, adding to the festive atmosphere and cultural immersion. The festival grounds feature numerous beer tents, each offering a distinct experience, and amusement rides for a fun-filled time.

Continue reading to see how I spent my time in Munich and two days at Oktoberfest, including Opening Day!

Arriving in Munich

We spent our first day in Munich, the day before Opening Day for Oktoberfest, exploring Marienplatz and the surrounding areas of the city center. Marienplatz is a central square in the city center of Munich, Germany. It has been the city's main square since 1158.

After we headed to the Hofbräuhaus Brewery near the main city center. It is the city's most famous beer hall. This is where we got to sit down and enjoy some great German beer!

Afterwards we explored some of the many churches in the city and various shops. Of course, we stopped by a few stores to purchase my dirndl and my fiancé's lederhosen. With that, we were ready to experience the official Oktoberfest!

Opening Day

We arrived to the grounds after the kegging of the beer and started are Oktoberfest experience exploring the grounds and hopping on a few rides. This is a great idea to do BEFORE you start drinking.

The grounds were a lot like State Fair in Wisconsin - lots of food, games, rides, etc. Minus the giant beer tents.

We ended up spending the rest of the day at the Hofbräuhaus tent (the same brewery we went to in Munich) and drank with some friends from Spain we met the day before. Of course, the tent was packed and we were unable to snag a table inside. After heading back outside, we were lucky enough to be able to grab a table on the patio and still enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Oktoberfest.

Our Second Day

The second and last day at Oktoberfest, we spent recovering from the night before and enjoyed much more that the festival had to offer. We explored the different food stands and went on some more rides. Watching the Toboggan and Feldl's Teufelsrad are a must see! I didn't get any pictures of the Feldl's Teufelsrad but, have attached one below. We spent more than an hour just standing and watching everyone get on and enjoy this amusement ride.

The toboggan ride is great to watch towards the end of the night. That's when most of the people who have been drinking all day get a little too ambitious and try to test their balance on this ride.

Also check out this awesome shot I took on top of the Ferris Wheel. Okay not the best quality picture, but you get the point. You can see just how many people are outside all of the beer tents. (Imagine how many are IN the beer tents...)

Overall, Oktoberfest was definitely a 12/10 and highly recommend that everyone go and experience this festival sometime in there life.

Because come on, who wouldn't want to drink beer all day!

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