Links for a Wednesday. Sorry they are late, I watched the US/Germany match twice last night.
- The craft beer business is in an interesting time. It took a while but the big mass market brewers finally took notice a few years ago and started buying some craft concerns. Goose Island was one of them. This allows the smaller beer companies to get an expansion to other markets. However, this comes at a time when the local food, slow food, farm to table movements are gaining steam. The idea of beer is an agricultural product has caught hold. That means it tastes best when it is made with fresh ingredients and you can get the product as close to its kegging/bottling/canning date as possible. Drinkers and brewers are starting to notice this fact. Most of the breweries that have started commercial operations in the last couple of years are nano-breweries producing small amounts of beer for their local customers.
- Growlers are spreading across the nation. Every time they are allowed in a new market, local news covers it like it is the strangest thing in the world. “You can go to a bar and take home the beer? How is this possible?”
- Craft brewers are at the forefront of making brewing more environmentally sustainable. Again, this goes back to the increased localization of craft brewing. Even with their massive operation coming to Asheville and the surrounding area, Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and New Belgium are taking extreme care to be environmentally friendly and to be part of the community as much a large national corporation can.
- Here is a slide show and short write up of the NC Brewer’s Celebration held in Charlotte over the weekend. I was not able to attend, but I can tell you a lot of people went to the festival. Then a lot of them came over to Craft afterwards. A lot.
- And we are still arguing over what is craft beer and what isn’t. It is a tiring and somewhat silly argument. All I want is this, brewers to tell me where their beer was made and what they used to make it. If it tastes good I’ll drink it. If it is local even better. If the ingredients are as fresh and as local as possible then I’ll jump for joy (metaphorically). Just stop using the term craft as a cudgel against mass market beer. Actually, let me change that. I just ask mass market brewers to stop creating brands and then alluding to them being craft. I just want truth in advertising. We the consumers know what is good and what isn’t.