This Brewers Association predicted that the US will soon exceed the record of 4,131 breweries set in 1873. That’s a big number. And it’s sparked the whole “When will the beer bubble burst?” debate again. But let’s not forget: 1873 and 2015 are different times.
In the past, including any alcohol options was enough to set a fast casual restaurant apart from competitors; now many chains are looking to customize their regional selections by offering local beers.
Buyouts and ownership restructurings in 2014 and 2015 have removed some of the bigger players—and their bigger production numbers—from the “craft market share” calculation publicized by the Brewers Association.
Think of the packets as mini beer Randalls. Bobby Gattuso, who studied biology in college, invented Hop Theory beer sachets as a way to enhance beers and start conversations about different flavors in beer.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, microbreweries started to think of tap handles as promotional tools. Now, numerous beer-focused bars have what amounts to rotating art exhibits thanks to companies such as Taphandles in Seattle.
Craft brewing by its very nature is a category disruptor. Just as Kodak didn’t see the digital camera coming, Big Beer overlooked craft brewers. Now a new debate about change has seeped into the homebrewing community: Is technology an acceptable substitute for trial and error?
While trepidation for the undermining of long treasured beer heritages remains understandable, in countries with little in the way of a native or historic beer culture, the change of pace and perspective brought by an interest in American-style craft brewing is a welcome breath of fresh air.
Of Newark-upon-Trent’s 35 pubs, only four served cask. All owned by Nottingham brewer Home Ales. Modern geeks wouldn’t have loved them. But they had a few things drinkers loved. They were cheap. And their cask beers were always in good condition.
Grodziskie was a small, sessionable oak-smoked wheat beer produced from the 1300s to the 1990s near the river Oder. Today, it’s surrounded by debate: Was it sour? What sort of yeast did it use? What is the beer supposed to taste like?
The rich meaty flavor of goose is well complemented by dried fruits like cherries, figs, and apricots. A Belgian-style Quadrupel mimics these flavors and the poultry benefits from using a beer injection to infuse flavor deep into the meat—marinating it from the inside out.
At Hotel Vermont’s Juniper Bar in Burlington, pillowy handmade dumplings are browned in Vermont Creamery cultured butter and sautéed with freshly foraged wild mushrooms, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, black truffles and herbs from the hotel’s garden.
Cask & Vine is a popular spot for locals in Derry, N.H. They come for the ambiance (soft lighting, no televisions, an oldies and jazz soundtrack) and the refreshing take on seasonal small plates. Oh, and there’s also 12 constantly rotating draft lines with plenty of local and regional beers.
A Harvard biological anthropology major turned law school grad, Bailey Spaulding and friend Robyn Virball assembled thousands of pounds of stainless steel equipment into a brewhouse. Jackalope has since become a cornerstone of Nashville’s burgeoning craft beer scene.
Mark and Leslie Henderson founded Lazy Magnolia to bring better beer to their home state. Although Mississippi now has 10 breweries statewide, theirs was the first packaging brewery to carry the torch for craft brewing, and did so for seven years under previously restrictive state regulations.
A casual visitor to Tallinn’s spectacular medieval Old Town might think there are only two breweries in Estonia, Saku and A. Le Coq. Luckily, you don’t have to go far to discover a brewpub or a local producer from the burgeoning beer scene.
If you drink a beer, and your friends aren’t instantly notified about it, did it really happen? How is technology changing the beer drinking experience for so many enthusiasts, and why are they frantically sharing their experiences anyway?
Baltimore once had a flourishing beer economy thanks in part to an influx of German and Eastern European immigrants. By the end of 1899, it was home to more than 40 breweries. Competition beginning in the 1950s steadily decreased this number until Hugh Sisson opened the state’s first brewpub in 1989.
Tim Annis is an MBS student and a beer geek who couldn’t believe his luck when his professor at the Wisconsin School of Business announced their assignment: develop a branding strategy to revive Capital Brewery in Madison.