Brewing beer, of course, is an age-old honored art dating back at least to the ancient Phoenicians. But today, a new renaissance has bloomed with the exciting emergence of the craft beer industry.
So what makes the craft beer business unique? Well, an American craft brewer is small, as industry production of 6 million barrels or less accounts for only 3 percent of U.S. annual sales. They are also independent, since no more than 25 percent of a particular craft brewery can be owned or controlled by larger and separate beverage entities, such as taverns, restaurants, casinos and package stores. Above all, the small brewer is traditional, because its product ultimately derives from more traditional brewing ingredients and their fermentation.
Each crafted brew has its own unique flavor, lovingly refined by brewers to give each and every beer its own distinctive taste. Stouts, characterized by a thick, creamy head and very dark color, typically have a nutty, earthy flavor. Ales, another popular style of craft beer, are usually distinguished by a more bitter taste, and alcohol content can be quite high. Lagers and pilsners are the lightest of the beers, generally associated with those mass-produced American commercial beers. However, a craft brewed artisanal lager or pilsner can be a real treat. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beers.
So there you have it! It really just comes down to this: Craft beer affords one of those exceptionally moments in life that can simply make your day feel a little more special. And, frankly, isn’t that enough?