Do you remember when you got your first Apple product? For me, it was 1989. I was a senior in high school, and I still remember my Dad coming home with a Macintosh SE in its original box, telling me how proud he was that I was going off to college the next year. I remember two specific things about that computer: 1. It was an amazing piece of technology, and 2. It changed the way I thought about things. You know those innovations that change the way you think? Smart phones, DVR, and social media all come to mind, but imagine some of the more historical ones like refrigeration, television, and airplanes; truly mindset-changing events. In the beer world, we all know about breweries, prohibition, and the twenty-first amendment, but the most recent trend in this industry is the rising market-share that craft breweries are accounting for. They are changing the way you drink.
In 2013, craft brewers saw an 18 percent rise in volume, representing a total of 15.6 million barrels, and a 20 percent increase in retail dollar value. Craft breweries have now averaged 10.9 percent growth over the last decade. It’s important to note what sets craft breweries apart from all others. The Brewers Association defines American craft breweries based on the following criteria:
Small. A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels is considered a Microbrewery. A brewery that surpasses that production threshold is considered a Regional Brewery. A craft brewer must produce less than 6 million barrels per year.
Independent. Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery can be owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry that is not itself a craft brewer.
Traditional. A brewery must have the majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor is derived from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beers.
In short, craft breweries are making some really unique beers that will delight your palate. Here are some reasons you should drink craft beer:
1. Craft beer tastes better! Craft brewers pour their passion into making beer, as well as amazing ingredients. If you want to taste a beer made by people who don’t cut any corners, try a craft brew.
2. Health benefits. What? Yes, you read that correctly. Research has shown that craft beer contains some soluble fiber, some B vitamins (like folate,) and a range of antioxidants.
3. Meet the people making the beer! One of the greatest benefits of drinking craft beer is that you can visit a local craft brewery where your favorite craft beer is made and actually meet the people that make the beer. People that make craft beer are some of the nicest, smartest, and funniest people you will ever meet.
4. Craft beer and good food are a perfect pair. Pairing craft beer with cuisine types is become a popular trend in the food industry. Whether it’s chicken parmigiana, seafood enchiladas con queso, or barbecue brisket, there is a beer for every occasion.
Craft breweries are changing the paradigm in the way consumers drink beer. With so many choices, change the way you drink. Choose style. Choose quality. Choose craft.
Riccardo Tarabelsi is the VP of Sales and Marketing for Fernson Brewing Company, located in Sioux Falls, SD. Contact Riccardo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fernson Brewing Company reminds you to drink responsibly.