In the last few years, we've seen two emerging themes in brewing--barrel-aging and the use of Belgian methods and yeast. Barrel-aging was a no-brainer; it fit right into the already emerging mode of stronger, more intense beers. But Belgians styles are a right-turn; they don't fit into anything Northwest breweries have been doing in the past 30 years. Off the top of my head, these are some of the major forays:
- BridgePort Supris and Stumptown Tart
- Deschutes Anniversary Wit and Golden
- Anything coming out of Ron Gansberg's magical laboratory
- Double Mountain's regular fiddling with Belgian yeasts, including in their now-famous IRA
- All the breweries that participate in Cheers to Belgian Beers
Time will tell. Predictions?