An overview of selected specialty beers: developments, challenges and prospects

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The brewing industry has devoted much research effort into the development of new technologies and innovations for the expansion of the assortment of specialty beers in response to increased consumer demand. Specialty beers are more or less the catch-all for beer styles, which do not fit into conventional beer categories and five types of specialty beers are of particular interest – low-calorie beer, low-alcohol or nonalcohol beer, novel-flavoured beer, gluten-free beer and functional beer. The selected beer types are technologically challenging to produce relative to the traditional approach of ingredient addition, yet offer special appeal to consumers from the perspective of health and flavour. Biological processes that make use of the equipment of a traditional brewery plant should be better exploited in comparison with nonbiological technologies such as thermal and membrane processes. Probiotic beer could be the specialty beer of the future in light of the increasing popularity of probiotics. These beers are reviewed in terms of developments, challenges and prospects.

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