Craft Beer – The New Holy Grail
Craft Beer: The New Holy Grail
In the United States, there are now more than 6,000 breweries, a number that hasn’t been seen since the 19th century. That’s when the nation’s brewing industry began to take off, and beer became an increasingly important part of the national culture.
The brewery industry in the US has never been more diverse, with a huge variety of styles to choose from. That’s all thanks to the growth of Craft Beer, which is by far the fastest-growing segment of the market.
Today’s beer market is bifurcated: adjunct pilsners remain the dominant player, but craft beer has soared to the top of the sales charts. By volume, craft beer accounts for 12.3% of the industry (compared with 7.9% for light adjunct pilsners), and it’s expected to reach 30% by 2025.
It all started in the 1970s, when a growing dissatisfaction with bland commercial lager led to the craft beer movement, a revolution that eventually spread around the world. The craft brewers of the time had the vision and the passion to produce distinctive beers that could stand apart from what was available at the supermarket or in your neighborhood brewpub.
They also had the brewing know-how and entrepreneurial spirit to get it off the ground. The pioneers, like Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing and Jack McAuliffe of New Albion, had the courage to step outside of the prevailing aristocratic ethos and experiment with ingredients and techniques they weren’t familiar with.