Craft beer is one of the hottest growth markets in small business right now. The reason is that there are so many craft beer lovers out there. Tired of the same old thing and the low flavor, mass-produced, national products out there. Craft Beer brewers and connoisseurs alike have given birth to the revolution. The Craft Beer revolution!
When you think about it, don’t all beers follow the same basic guidelines when being made? Well, yes and no. When it comes to beer the same basic steps are taken to make it, but there are a couple of major differences. The ingredients Make a big difference and the length of each process makes a big difference as well. Let’s take a look at a little of the history to find out more.
A History of Craft Brewing
Native American were making beer from corn long before Europeans settled in the Americas. Europeans obviously brought with them a knowledge of brewing and as early as 1612 the first known brewery was established in America in New Amsterdam(Manhattan). In the year 1810 there were 132 breweries operating but by 1873 there were as many as 4,131. That’s an astounding number of breweries! However, distribution process were not as efficient so it would make more sense to have a more localized brewing industry.
Then the National Prohibition Act, or the 18th amendment went into effect on January 16th, 1920. Not just beer, but all alcohol industries toppled. There were of course illegal bootleggers but all legitimate breweries were gone. In April of 1933 the amendment was repealed and the alcohol business was back. Within a year of the reinstatement of the ability to produce and purchase alcohol, there 756 breweries that were established in the first year.
The larger beer companies were intent on expansion and made it known. They merged or bought outright as many breweries as they could. The result was that the country went from 756 breweries in 1933 all the way down to 80 breweries by 1983. British beer writer Michael Jackson observed at the time, most produced the same style: “They are pale lager beers vaguely of the pilsner style but lighter in body, notably lacking hop character, and generally bland in palate. They do not all taste exactly the same but the differences between them are often of minor consequence.”
Things seemed pretty bleak if you had hoped for any diversity in the industry but then things were about to change. In 1982, there were about six newly-emerged microbrewers. A democracy of beer began in earnest during the late 1970s by homebrewers. It was then that better beer began its journey, championed by individuals and not corporate strategies. Homebrewers began learning how to make the beer styles they could no longer buy. A few homebrewers started their own small breweries, the first new breweries to open since prohibition. Beer drinkers learned to appreciate these new “microbrews.” The term microbrews has since evolved to “craft beer;”
As of December of 2018 there were more than 7,000 breweries. Nationally, small and independent craft brewers employ more than 135,000 full- and part-time employees.
These brewers are vital small businesses in communities across the country, typically employing 10 to 50 employees. Small and independent breweries had a total economic impact of $67.8 billion on the U.S. economy in 2016, creating more than 456,000 full-time equivalent jobs throughout the economy. So to say there has been a resurgence of Craft beer is an understatement.
State Of The Beer Address
Have you wondered if your area or state are big in the Craft Beer craze? It seems like breweries are popping up everywhere, so how can you be sure that you are in the place to be? Maybe you aren’t really concerned with being in the Craft Beer growth zone. I mean, after all, with modern distribution and production methods its possible to get a good variety of the best brew right at your local market or beer store. Well, then maybe you would like to visit the best areas. Regardless, we have a list of the best States and breweries in those states to visit. Let’s take a look:
California – Sierra Nevada and Anchor, along with some incredible legacy breweries like North Coast, Stone, Lagunitas, Firestone Walker, Russian River, as well as an amazing number of other breweries such as Anderson Valley, Drake’s, FiftyFifty, Modern Times, Bear Republic, The Rare Barrel, El Segundo, Smog City, Belching Beaver, Alvarado Street, Buffalo Bill’s, Barley Forge, Coronado, Fort Point, Garage, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Peter B’s Brewpub, Casa Agria and Mother Earth Brew Co. Phew! That’s a lot of breweries!
Oregon – pFriem Family Brewers, De Garde, Widmer, Deschutes, Rogue, Cascade, Ecliptic, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Breakside, Gigantic, Great Notion and many, many more.
Michigan – Founder’s, Bell’s, Right Brain Brewery, Arcadia Brewing, Speciation Artisan Ales, Dark Horse, Jolly Pumpkin, Kuhnhenn, Witch’s Hat Brewing Company, The Mitten Brewing Company, Griffin Claw and Short’s Brewing Co., which all make a multitude of tasty brews.
Colorado – 4 Noses, Diebolt, Grist and Mockery call Colorado home, along with the Brewers Association and the best beer festival of them all, the Great American Beer Festival. They also house some of the largest companies Wynkoop, Breckenridge, Odell and New Belgium as well as mammoth macro producer Coors Brewing Co.
Vermont – The Alchemist’s Heady Topper started the hazy IPA revolution. It also has Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Fiddlehead.
Gifts For The Craft Beer Enthusiast
A Subscription for Craft Beer – It seems like there is a subscription service for everything nowadays. Craft Beer is no different. What could be a better gift than a new and different Craft Beer every month? Check it out here.
USA Beer Cap Map – Every state has its signature beer. There are some that you can only get in certain areas. So if you like to travel and you like to drink craft beers make sure you get one of these so you can track your travels with a beer cap. Check it out here on Amazon
A Guide To Beer Pairings – It’s been common practice with wine for as long as I can remember, but what about beer? Have you ever wondered what kind of beer goes with a Steak? I’m sure any beer will do but what would pair best? Well, wonder no more with this pairing guide on Amazon.
Novelty Socks – Socks with funny sayings about beer will never get old. Check out some cool ones here on Amazon.
Goodnight Brew: A Parody for Beer People – This book is funny! It’s a classic take on children’s bedtime stories twisted for grown-ups who are fans of beer. Check it out here on Amazon.
A Home Brewing Kit – What else could be better for a Craft Beer fan than the power to make their own beer? Nothing. That’s what. There are tons of different kits available so check this one out on Amazon.