Brewers see future in high tech, weak beer, cannabis brews

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A ‘smart’ bottle opener, weak and alcohol-free ales and lagers and cannabis brews – all visions of the future of beer offered at a brewing convention in Brussels this week.

FILE PHOTO: A worker tastes the liquid from a mash tun during the beer brewing process at the “La Plaine” microbrewery in Marseille, France, June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/File Photo

More than 700 brewers and beer experts, from small microbrewers to megabrew executives, converged in Belgium, for many the home of beer, to debate hot topics in the $600 billion sector – including how to win drinkers back from wine and spirits.

Sessions on beer and food pairings sought to show how ales or lagers could challenge the dominance of wine during meals.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has set increasing beer’s share of the overall drinks market as a top priority this year. Carlos Brito, its chief executive, told fellow brewers the sector should target mealtimes and women as areas of future growth.

Consumers should expect an even wider variety of products, particular of higher priced “premium” beers.

“Premiumisation has arrived in, for example,…

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