We are always on the hunt for news, business best practices, what’s next, and so on, but sometimes it’s nice to kick back and take in the historically awesome time we are living in for beer in America. To help us bask, here is a celebratory post sent our way from reCreative, a marketing agency from Connecticut that specializes in the best things in life – alcohol and puppies – to celebrate American Craft Beer Week this week.
Four simple words, “American…Craft…Beer…Week,” have officially joined forces for the 12th year in a row. These modest terms, when combined in that exact order, create a phrase almost as extraordinary as the honorary product itself, the four-ingredient wonder, beer! Our beloved alcoholic beverage is certainly much older than just 12 years; however, this dedicated week from May 15 to the 21 pays tribute to America’s modern history of independent craft brew.
It really doesn’t matter if you are new to the craft beer scene, a connoisseur, or somewhere in between, these upcoming seven days are for all of us as we celebrate our country’s innovative nature and appreciate the spirit that goes into making a damn fine beer.
The U.S may have once been known as the home of bland lager, however, those days are long gone. We are now known as the home of the brave, the home of the inventive, and the home of passionate beer enthusiasts. Today’s creative brewing tactics in the United States and our subsequent products are certainly much different than the original beers made in the Middle East several thousand years ago. America’s beer industry, over the past several decades, has grown into a vibrant art as ‘craft brewers’ continue to push the boundaries of combining grain, hops, yeast and water with magical recipes. The Brewer’s Association defines a ‘craft brewer’ as a, “small, independent and traditional brewer…who interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.” So, who were the pioneers of this distinct crusade of brewing and how did we arrive where we are today as we commemorate this evolution?
It is quite ironic that the liquid gold craft movement is thought to have begun in the Golden State of California back in the 1960’s. Founded in 1965, Anchor Brewing is believed to have been the trailblazer for today’s landscape of craft beer. Anchor introduced us to the first modern IPA which set us free from plain boring beer. Appropriately named, its ‘Liberty Ale’ made bland brews a thing of the past.
Anchor’s inspiration spread as new homebrewing laws were passed here in the U.S. by the late 1970s. Fast forward several years into the 1980s and the U.S market is introduced to the likes of Abita, Bell’s, Sierra Nevada, and Sam Adam’s just to name a few. The 1980s saw microbrewing and experiments galore as new types of beers were spawned such as wheat ales infused with raspberry, brown ales, and amber ales. That momentum continued into the 1990s where craft brands such as New Belgium, Stone and Dogfish Head got their start. The end of the 20th century closed shop with roughly 1,200 craft breweries in operation and enthusiasm on the rise.
Now, in 2017, there are roughly 5,200 craft breweries throughout the United States. This is certainly something to be proud of as that amount was below 100 in the 1980s!
For all the craft beer lovers in Connecticut, we have roughly 50 of those 5,200 craft breweries. According to the Brewer’s Association, the overall beer market in the U.S. has roughly $108 billion in sales with craft beer contributing to 24 of those billions (22% of the market). Craft beer sales in Connecticut are growing and craft beer in the Constitution State continues to progress at a promising pace. We know this first-hand as we’ve had the pleasure to recently collaborate with some wonderful people at Brewery Legitimus, Cold Creek Brewery, and Parable Brewing Co.
Regardless of your geography throughout our great land or beer style preferences, we encourage you to take advantage of “American Craft Beer Week!” Be on the lookout for some local craft beer events near you and enjoy the art of independent craft beer. To celebrate the 12th year of this official celebration, grab 12 oz. of your favorite local craft brew. Or, better yet, grab a 12-pack of 12 oz. of your favorite craft brew and be proud of all the tasty beer that Americans have created and continue to create.