What’s your favorite beer? Bud Light, Redds Apple Ale, Twisted Tea, or Corona? If it is, you probably won’t be interested in anything I have to say.
Craft beer is defined as small, independent, and traditional. A brewery must produce no more than 6 million barrels of beer per year, must be owned by someone not in the alcoholic beverage industry, and must have the majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor comes from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. (Source)
Over the last ten years, craft beers, home brewers, and microbreweries have been on the rise. As of 2013, craft breweries make up an incredible 98% of all of America’s breweries and New York ranks 6th in number of craft brewers. An increase of about two million barrels of craft beer being produced has occurred steadily for the last 6 years and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. (Source)
The craft beer industry has introduced us to such a vast variety of beers that even someone who claims to hate beer, can find a beer to love. Today there are of course your lagers, ales, stouts or porters, pilsners and your hefeweizens, but that is only the beginning. Without talking about flavored beer or seasonal brews, you have ryes, barley wine, pale ale, imperial, saison, kolsch, doppleback, IPA, sour, wheat, and more. With the brewing techniques we have today there are a huge amount of types of brews before you even get into flavors.
At just the beginning of 2015, brewers are looking at rare and creative recipes for the 3rd and 4th quarters of this year. Summer, Autumn, and Winter are prime seasons for craft beer with all the different fresh flavors available.
Working at an ale house triggered my interest in craft beer and as soon as I started learning about it, I never looked at a Blue Moon the same way again (not to say I don’t enjoy a good Blue Moon still).
I’ll be brewing my first home brew batch later this month and although I’m bracing myself for a not so perfect batch (it takes 3 or 4 times to figure it all out, so I’m told) I am more than excited to put myself in the growing category of home brewers.
After getting to about 20 craft breweries last year I’m hoping to hit another 20 or 30 this year and will be posting about it all (or most of it).