Saturday, November 5, 2016

Economy/Culture: A Cheers To The US Craft Beer Revolution

(Drivebycuriosity) - Recently I went for a short visit back to Germany where I had lived for so many years. I liked it there again, the country is so modern, efficient, nice & clean. There was just one disappointment: The beers. The pubs had just a small selection, most focus on the heavily advertised brands. But even Jever, a premium pilsner beer (Pils), tasted boring. Once I had believed that German beer is the best of the world.

I am an actually a wine drinker and prefer fermented grape juice for dinner (here my post on wine driveby). A while ago I had almost given up on beer (afraid of the beer belly). But the American craft beer revolution rekindled my lust on beers. Many pubs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other US places serve 10 and more craft beers on draft. You can get Lagers, IPAs, Ales, Amber, Stout and  more (beeradvocate).

On top of this post you can see the image of an Imperial Stout with Chocolate & Coffee, called "Breakfast Stout" from Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA (founders). The beauty of this drink  - and the pearling foam - created a pleasant anticipation (there is no translation for Vorfreude) which got affirmed by the full & strong taste.

Behind this stout you can see a Tangerine IPA from Stone Brewing in San Diego, California (stonebrewing). This beer is flavored with 10 different hops which make it very crispy.

Stouts & IPAs are originally English & Irish beers but they got refined in the US. IPA means India Pale Ale -  an upmarket beer brewed for sophisticated colonists living in India (wikipedia). These beers usually have a lot of hops like the German Pils beers but they are more tasty & crispy.

I also like other American beers like the Goose Island IPA from Chicago`s Goose Island Brewery and American Amber beers - defined by their color - like the Toasted Lager from New York´s Blue Point Brewing Company.

American craft brewers offer a lot of specialties which often sound experimental & exotic: The board above has for instance Baltic Porter, Strong Golden  Ale, Lagered Ale, Oaked Red Ale with Vanilla, Saison with Hibiscus, Rosehips & Lemongrass and  more treats. Thanks to the craft beer revolution I can discover unknown combinations and explore new tastes: Beers with vanilla, chocolate, coffee, mango, grapefruit and more. I can chose between bitter, fresh, sweet, spicy and more aromas.

                                                           Advances In Science

The craft beer revolution is actually a part of the general evolution - everything is changing and so does the world of beer. In 2015 the American Brewer Association counted 2,397 microbreweries, 1,650 brewpubs and 178 regional craft breweries in the US (brewersassociation). Advances in Science and the technological progress reduce the cost of beer  brewing (geekwire). Falling costs are making is reasonable to brew smaller quantities which allows the brewer to offer specialties (telegraph). Thanks to low production costs they can experiment and change their palette frequently (seasonal specialties).

American brewers are also copycats. They offer a lot of German specialties like Weizenbier, Festbier, Märzen (Oktoberfestbier) & Kölsch (brewed in Köln/Cologne) but enhance their taste. Recently I had an Imperial Kölsch from Canada with more alcohol and taste than the German original.

The beer market is still ruled by giants like Anheuser-Busch InBev, who owns about 200 brands including Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois & Beck's.  The craft beer revolution adds some competition - and fresh ideas -  which is good for the consumers. And the craft beer revolutions enhances variety and adds to the quality of life.


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