The Rise of Craft Beer
There are few things more refreshing or comforting than a cold, fizzy beer after a long day. In the last decade, it seems like high-quality beer is a lot easier to find than ever – especially if you are willing to look beyond the typical macro brews such as Budweiser or Miller Lite. This burgeoning movement is called Craft Beer, and it encompasses everything from traditional ales to barrel-aged stouts.
Defining what constitutes a craft beer can be difficult, with different definitions floating around the industry and often changing over time. Generally, it is described as beer made by small breweries with high-quality ingredients and a respect for tradition. These breweries tend to be independently owned and operated, and they use interesting or nontraditional ingredients that create distinctive flavors. They also make a point of supporting their local communities with philanthropic efforts, product donations and volunteering.
With so many breweries popping up, it can be hard for buyers at stores, restaurants, and bars to keep their shelves full. This is why Bogner says strong reviews and medal wins at competitions are key to snagging shelf space.
The craft beer movement started thanks to two men who are regarded as foundational figures in the industry: Jim Koch of Sam Adams and Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada. Both were beer lovers who wanted to revitalize classic brewing techniques and styles that had fallen out of favor during Prohibition. Their efforts helped to spark the resurgence of the American brewing industry in the 1980s, and the popularity of craft beer has never looked back.