Welcome to the world of craft beer. This website is your guide to an adventure in flavor.
Thirty years ago, “beer” in the United States meant only one thing: a fizzy, thin, pale yellow drink without a lot of flavor. There were only 40 breweries in the whole country, and most of them produced something similar. Served ice cold, it would quench your thirst on a hot day, or wash down a hot dog.
Today, take a stroll down the beer aisle at your local store, and you can’t miss the signs of change. New, unfamiliar beer brands with quirky labels and names have claimed a spot on the shelves. They are the proud creations of a growing group of people who call themselves craft brewers, and they’ve brought variety and excitement back to beer.
The American craft beer revolution started quietly with a handful of men who realized that all beer didn’t have to taste the same. Whether they had encountered different styles of beer while serving in the military, or experimented with the small range of imports on the market, they had learned that there were alternatives to mainstream beer.
A few of them had faith that American beer drinkers would be open to these new flavors. They opened the first microbreweries and went into business.
At first, these beer pioneers concentrated on styles of beer from the English tradition. They made pale ales and stouts, and even resurrected styles, including porter or barley wine, that had gone extinct in their native land. Later, they looked to Scotland, Ireland, Germany or Belgium for their inspiration.
But, even in the early days of the American craft beer movement, these brewers were putting their own twist on traditional recipes. Within a few years, many American interpretations had diverged enough from the European originals to constitute brand new styles.
Today, there are more than 2,500 breweries in the United States, creating beer in so many different styles that it can be confusing to beer drinkers who want to know more. We hope you will use this guide to help you explore this new world. Have a beer tasting in your home, add beer to your favorite recipes, discover the pleasure of a beautifully made beer in a style you’ve never tried before.
If you’re thirsty to learn more, let us be your guide. Cheers!