An Introduction To Craft Beers with Melvin Brewing*



*This is a collaborative post*


A craft brewery is one which produces relatively small quantities of beer, although they can often be referred to as micro breweries (in most cases this refers to breweries which were founded prior to the 1970s). Despite the definition not being entirely consistent, generally speaking, craft brewers are much smaller than their large scale corporate brewery counterparts and they are independently owned. Most if not all craft breweries are typically characterised by their emphasis on quality, flavor and brewing technique. As the industry has grown, the term craft brewery is a more encompassing one.

The microbrewing industry as we know it today properly began in the 1970s both in the United States and the UK. More often than not in the early days, they would often be very small indeed. Usually a one man band operation, a drink enthusiast in his garden shed or a few drinking buddies who hit upon the idea to make their own brew. In the early days these enterprises would often be ‘labours of love’ and not remotely about retail for the open market. Such was their popularity that craft breweries began expanding and developing to cater for a greater swathe of the alcoholic beverage market.





Beer

It should be noted that traditional artisanal brewing has existed in Europe for many centuries and subsequently was spread to the other countries. Through the medieval age beer is what most people would drink on a daily basis. It was safer than drinking water from a stream which would often to lead to water borne diseases. The process of brewing would kill any bacteria rendering a safe to consume beverage.  

With the spread of the traditional artisanal methods, and with some small breweries expanding both their production and distribution; the more encompassing concept of Craft Brewing as we would recognize it today emerged. Today there are even brewpubs, which are pubs which brew their own beer and sell it on the premises.

The Craft Beer Production industry has developed into one of the fastest growing and popular segments of the alcoholic beverage market here in the United States. From the years 2013-2018 the industry saw impressive growth, increasing at an average annualised rate of 11.8% to reach an approximated total of $6.8 billion. Quite a staggering figure really, and the market is still growing. In fact in 2018 the general alcoholic beverage market saw a decrease of 1% total sales, but the craft beer segment reported 4% growth which perfectly highlights the surging popularity of such beers.

Why Craft Beer? 

Consumers continue to demand a diverse variety of beers, from lagers, pale ales and seasonal beers to stouts, saisons and Belgian witbiers; craft brewers have snared a considerable portion of drinkers that would have traditionally opted for light and premium brand beers. 

Since many of the industry’s craft brewers are micro brewers, local brewpubs and regional producers, consumers have undeniably gravitated towards them. People are drawn to smaller operations such as Melvin Brewing due to the plethora of different flavours on offer, the traditional techniques used and to help support local businesses. 

The variety is far reaching and there is surely a craft beer out there for even the most sophisticated palate. I’d definitely recommend trying some craft beer if you haven’t already. They also vary in strength from low alcoholic content, to way up in the teens by percentage.

Support Your Local Businesses

Due to the brewing process being time consuming and involving numerous stages, it is often regarded by those involved as an art form. There’s something romantic about the concept that this craft beer has been lovingly made, with great care and diligence to ensure a good quality beverage is produced. There were 555 000 jobs created by the craft beer industry as of 2018. According to the US Tax, Alcohol and Tobacco Bureau, 74% of breweries operated in the US produce less than 1000 barrels annually.

It is much more difficult for these smaller enterprises to survive and flourish without a loyal consumer base who buy into the ethos of the brewers themselves to some degree. This is obvious for any smaller bespoke business when trying to compete with huge multi-national corporations and their corresponding multimillion dollar marketing budgets.

Because craft brewers tend to be small and independently owned they have to be on their game at every stage of the process, they cannot afford to get anything wrong when it comes to crops, service or the actual brewing process. So with every sip you know you are getting an end product which has required months of TLC. 

Cheers!

*Contributed by Michael David. *Header photo source. Second photo source.



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