From Reddit threads to in-person auctions, the increasing commodification of rare beer is something to celebrate and fear. The long heralded accessibility of beer remains one of its most favorable traits.
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.
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.
Cans are now instinctively what I reach for when I’m buying beer in the store, much to my own surprise. In fact, I expect to keep passing over glass bottles, bombers and growlers for many years to come.
As craft brewing matures, the quality of the reportage on all things beer should rise to match it. Quality writers are a crucial component in helping craft brewing grow in stature and seriousness in the public’s eye.
While the internet has given beer lovers access to information and communication avenues that we could never have imagined decades ago, the value of many social media options to breweries is harder to gauge.
Craft breweries have long had a contentious relationship with the media. Fighting an uphill battle against a well-entrenched public view that all beer looked and tasted the same, new small brewers knew the importance of changing the conversation about beer.
Amid the introduction of hundreds and thousands of new brewers—some small, some unbelievably large—we are witnessing a massive changing of the guard. America’s oldest breweries face a host of challenges ranging from demographics to succession.
Largely the province of beer marketing companies in the past, today’s contract brewers take myriad forms, and with the vast expansion of craft breweries comes new creative opportunities. It’s time to rethink our once strong dislike of contract or guest brewing.