Many craft breweries are cults of personality. But when these icons eventually fade, we’re left with the next generation to think about, as the brewery must go on. Craft brewing has always been a business.
Brewers guilds must educate, protect and promote. It’s taken the craft brewing industry some 35 years to be able to produce 12 percent of the beer bought in America. No one accomplished that feat alone. There is strength in numbers.
Today, the Bay Area is home to over 60 breweries, and the city itself boasts nine beyond Anchor Brewing Co. … and that number is growing. In fact, the SF Brewers Guild recently decided to bring the contract and gypsy breweries into the fold, so now membership stands at 15.
Labatt’s dismantlement of Lakeport brewery draws local resentment; Obama receives Maine beer package; Boston Beer founder Jim Koch petitions for national Patriots’ Day; San Francisco’s iconic Anchor Brewing sold.
Even amidst the constantly buzzing news of special-release beers from exciting new breweries from Dallas to Denmark, let’s take a moment to remember the craft brewing pioneers and help them celebrate their achievements.
For craft brewers tempted to focus their attention on high-priced, limited-edition beers that appeal to a tiny fraction of beer lovers, it’s telling that the original craft brewer, Anchor Brewing, has not embraced the high-alcohol and hop-bomb craze.