Beer in the USA

October 16, 2012

As the token American in the Cask/Craft family I felt it necessary to use this space to talk a little about the beer where I come from.

As heard from some of the pub’s customers, most people are led to believe that the only thing we drink in the States is Coors and Bud Light. To be honest, that’s mostly the truth. The fact remains that about 90% of the beer consumed in the US comes from the big breweries. And while the big guys will always sell well and be featured in bars and fridges spanning the coasts, the beauty of American beer is found in that other 10%.

That 10% of sales works out to account for, approximately, 2200 breweries in operation.  Now add to that another 1200 preparing to go on line and you start to get a sense of the scope of craft beer in the United States. I know we’re a good sized country, but that’s an enormous amount of beer! With all these different breweries, the options for the craft beer consumer become, not necessarily overwhelming, but brimming with discovery by the bottle.

While we made our first decisive stamp on the beer playing field with our extremely hoppy take on England’s I.P.A., we’ve really found that there is no satiation for our love for every type of fermented, malt beverage, we can imbibe. Right now the craft beer movement in the U.S. is an all-encompassing, mélange of styles and influences. Much like the United States itself, we have welcomed in the traditions from those that have chosen to make the westward journey.  On the bar we’ve poured everything from regional German beers (e.g. Berliner Weisse, Rauchbier and Gose) to wild Belgian ales to English Best Bitters, all emanating from American breweries.

I bring this all up, not to boast or brag about the brewing prodigiousness of my fellow countrymen, but to simply state: “Be prepared.”  In the two years that I have been living here I have been amazed at the velocity in which craft beer has taken off in London and the UK. Working at the pub has given me the unique ability to witness all these new breweries popping up around the country. Breweries that pay homage to the traditions of British brewing, but also embrace influences from all over the beer drinking world. I’ve also been awed by the amount of new venues specializing in craft beer. These are pubs and bars that not only carry, but celebrate and encourage you to become excited about all that beer can be.

I started this piece off talking about beer in America, but what I’m really here to do is offer a glimpse of the future of beer in the UK. Britain is in the grasp of its own craft beer revolution that’s about to bring more styles, more experimentation, more beer your way than you can imagine! I invite you all to come down, share a pint and be excited by what you’re about to drink.

 

by

CJ FERRELL

 

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