As a child, beer was the tipple of choice for both my dad, my nan and my grandad. My mom stuck to half of lager and lime, and spirits were something that could be enjoyed occasionally, at Christmas maybe. Prosecco was not heard of, Champagne was for weddings, it was beer that was hero of the hour, the one that ruled the roost.
But move forward into the nineties and the new century, and traditional beer by the keg lost some of its sparkle. Trendy bottled beers were the preserve of the wine bars, whilst a traditional pint from a traditional brewery became the preserve of old men. Cocktails, and then gin of every variety took their place at the table, no longer the villain of Hogarth etchings, but now fashionable, as gin palaces and parlours once again emerged onto the scene. Beer was marginalised, left to old men in flat caps propping up the bars of their local Wetherspoons. But now, it seems that the tide has turned once more, and beer, more specifically craft beer, is now earning its place amongst the pantheon of those must have drinks. Craft breweries like Melvin Brewing are producing high quality beers that make drinking beer a pleasurable experience, one that is loved by both men and women, and young and old.
A craft brewery is one that is small in terms of production, and independent in that it is not tied to a traditional brewery. Craft Beer is a big story around the world, but in the United States, it is an absolute phenomenon. The production of craft beer pre pandemic was at an all time high in the country, with Alcohol.Org stating that;-
Craft beer production is at an all-time high in the United States, with the country reaching over 7,000 breweries in 2018 and expecting to add nearly 1,000 new breweries in 2019.
In addition, their research also shows that craft beer is also a sign of quality as well as popularity, with smaller, independent breweries who specialise in a particular product rising in both popularity and sales. Again, according to Alcohol.org, in 2017, 40 out of the 50 top breweries in the United States were craft breweries.
So why has craft beer seen its popularity grow so much? Well first is that it makes great quality beer portable, with many beers coming in cans, with those cans looking cool and colourful in many cases. From the days of great beer being that which came from a traditional keg, on the pull in public houses, you can now pick craft beers up in supermarkets, this has proved particularly important as we moved into lockdown in both 2020 and 2021.
Faraway Meat and Grocery produced a great infographic in which they looked at why craft beers had grown so popular. They sited reasons like the use of better ingredients, often organic, the higher alcohol content and the bolder taste as key reasons, but also looked at the fact that people more than ever want to support small and local businesses, and supporting a craft brewery is a way of doing this. Also the constant innovations and new products makes this an exciting movement to be a part of.
Craft beer is here to stay.