Land of the Free. Home of the brave. These are things we associate with the American spirit. Even though it wasn’t invented in America beer is also a very American phenomena.
From ancient Egypt to Germany to Belgium beer has been a staple of cultures across the globe and across history. It is the most popular adult beverage in the country and American craft beer is once again on the rise. 2011 Brewers Association numbers show that we have reached nearly 2,000 craft breweries in the USA. In all likely hood 2012 data will show that we have passed that number for the first time since the late 1800s. The reason? It’s difficult to say for sure but my hunch is that craft beer is accessible, fun and varied.
Beer is nearly everywhere and now more than ever. Here in Austin we have several bottle shops that have 100s of beers to choose from and even major stores are becoming craft savvy. As you all demand more craft beer the selections will become more varied and stray away from the boring and bland walls of mega-sized brewers.
Fun is in the DNA of beer. It is social by nature and if you need some evidence look no further than a homebrewer. Even the smallest brew system will yield around 5 gallons of beer. That is way too much beer to brew, bottle and drink alone so you recruit a friend to help out.
Beer is incredibly varied in it’s flavor, aroma and appearance. From the lightest, crispest pilsner to the robust and rich stouts there is a flavor for everyone that enjoys an alcoholic beverage. Dozens of yeast strains, hop varietals and malt varieties create an endless combination of flavors, colors and aromas. As American brewers continue to experiment we have seen the addition of numerous adjuncts, from flowers and fruit to oysters and crawfish.
What we have in our American beer culture is nothing short of phenomenal. The styles are so varied, the brewer’s so talented and experimental and the beer is better than ever. Chances are if you are reading this you probably already know. So my challenge to you is to grab a friend and join us for one of our remaining American Craft Beer Week events. I guarantee a good time.
I’ll leave you with an awesome video put together by our dear friend and talented video magician Fletcher Berndt. There is also a list of events below! Hope to see you around town this week.
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