Friday, May 20, 2011

Little Giants Emerge Victorious!!

America has seen a recent resurgence in craft and home brewing in recent years. After reading an article online about where the majority of our beer is coming from, I am convinced that this renaissance of fermentation is NOT a fad. Some stats:
  • Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 100,000 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.
  • Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2010 was 11% by volume and 12% by dollars compared to growth in 2009 of 7.2% by volume and 10.3% by dollars. 
  • Craft brewers sold an estimated 9,951,956 barrels* of beer in 2010, up from 8,934,446 in 2009.
  • The craft brewing sales share in 2010 was 4.9% by volume and 7.6% by dollars.
  • Craft brewer retail dollar value in 2010 was an estimated $7.6 billion, up from $7 billion in 2009.
  • 1,753 breweries operated for some or all of 2010, the highest total since the late-1800s.
I believe I speak for much of the appreciators of fine malt beverages when I say, "We are here to stay!"  There is not much to say other than we need to get behind these breweries. As the saying goes, "Think globally, drink locally." Unfortunately, much of the beer in the United States is produced by two major brewers. I think the craft brewing industry could have a way of stealing customers away from these giants.  The way most craft breweries attempt to convert our light beer swilling friends is to offer what is often referred to as a "transition beer".

A transition beer is usually a beer that is meant to clear the palette during tasting so that the taster has a clear view of the qualities of the ale in which they are tasting. Another use for these types of beers, which usually consist of a beer that is lighter in both color and taste, could be to transform light beer lovers into CRAFT beer lovers by offering them a beer that is similar in color, but is both better tasting and higher quality. Beers that are often used for this purpose are ones like cream ales, kolsch beers, American-style wheat beers, or any number of other unimposing, lighter beers.

Here is a challenge to cap off American Craft Beer Week. Convert a friend. Introduce one of your friends to craft beer. Or, if you have not had the pleasure of experiencing a local beer from your neck of the woods. I encourage you to seek out your local brewpub or craft brewery and try one for yourself. You will not be disappointed.




  1. This is why I always fail at converting my Bud Light buddies - - I want them to try my favorite Porter or IPA. Good idea! Try stair-stepping up from a Lager to Amber to Brown then a high ABV ale. They'll be hooked.

  2. You should do reviews based on regions of the United States... The Bay Area has a awesome beer culture with a wide variety of breweries. Russian River, 21st Amendment, Devil's Canyon, Anchor Steam, etc. Also go international a little (Belgium, Norway, obviously Germany, etc.)