There's never been a better time than right now to be a beer lover in the United States! Beer itself has been a staple beverage in America for centuries, but the mass-produced drinks most people are familiar with are only the beginning. There's a whole world of beer that many people are only just discovering—the world of craft beer.
Just a few years ago, the country held only a few hundred craft breweries, but now the number is booming, rising rapidly into the thousands. All across this country you'll find dedicated, enthusiastic brewers with their own style, recipes, and methods, each producing a beverage that's almost an art form. Though some may take it for granted, if we stop to look at the renaissance that the industry is in, it's easy to see that we may just be living in the golden age of beer.
Taste the Quality
Mass-produced brews are convenient, but they often put quantity over quality. To get their beers on the shelves faster, large companies sometimes use recipes with cheaper ingredients and a rushed brewing process. This gives you a decent, but forgettable drink. Craft breweries put quality first as a rule. For Brewers the process is an art form, where quality ingredients come together in new and sometimes experimental recipes. In the first few years of the craft beer boom, this experimenting made for brews that may not have been the best they could be, but years later, those who stuck with the art have perfected the process and found recipes they love. The result is a savory, satisfying beer with a taste that perfectly reflects the passion of its maker.
If you're looking to try something different in the world of mass-produced beers, you may find yourself a bit limited. There are only a handful of labels out there, so you'll probably run your options out sooner than you'd like. This is a problem fans of craft beer don't have. Since each brewery is independent, it's very rare that any two brews are going to taste similar. This means you can have a signature beer from one brewery, then head across town and try an entirely different recipe at another—something that wasn't possible years ago when craft breweries were much more uncommon. Now it's easier than ever to try different flavors and get a taste of each region!
Good Things in Moderation
Any beer enthusiast knows that there's nothing like a good brew. But like anything good, moderation is the key. The dangers of excess consumption are well-known, but a well-made craft beer can help you avoid these dangers. Craft brews aren't meant to be chugged down by the bottle, but slowly and carefully savored, taking into appreciation every note of the flavor. This process coupled with the more satisfying taste of craft beers means you'll actually end up drinking less than usual, and enjoying it more!
Supporting Local Businesses
Craft beer isn't made by large corporations. These breweries are largely the domain of the hobbyist, whose passion for beer drives them to create their idea of the perfect drink. These enthusiasts start their own breweries with saved funds, crowdfunding or financing from firms like LVRG, and work to share what they love with the public. Now beer fans can try local brews from privately-owned breweries, which lets you support great small businesses in the process. Independent brewers get support and funding, and you get a high-quality beer that you can't get anywhere else. Everybody wins.
It's simpler than it's ever been to get your hands on a high-quality craft brew, and the flavors and ingredients have never been better. There's no denying it: We're in the golden age of beer. If you're a beer lover and you're not taking advantage of this time, take note. You may be missing out on an experience quite literally unlike anything you've ever tasted before.