We do not hear much about a middle class, those mainly regional brewers slogging it out in the trenches day after day. These mid-sized breweries, which make 15 to 20,000 barrels or more and distribute in only a small number of states, are the bishops and knights of the craft beer chess game, crucial to the industry’s performance.
American craft brewers remind me of students just completing their sophomore years of college. Having secured their footing, they understand how things work, but remain unsure of what their futures hold; excited to experience the wider world, but still nervous about making their mark.
The Germans have discovered the nanobrewery. These nanobreweries consist of a tiny kit, typically operating in a cellar, kitchen or shed, in which beer is made in tiny runs of as little as 50 liters a go, for commercial sale.