Friday, November 6, 2015

More U. S. breweries than ever before

Probably you were wondering how many breweries are making beer in the United States.

The Brewers Association says about 700 small independent breweries set up shop in the past year, and the total number in the U. S. is on track to exceed the record number of 4,131 breweries set way back in 1873.

These days the boutique breweries are called “craft brewers,” I think that’s the current term for what we old-timers used to call microbreweries.

Americans chug down about 200 million barrels of beer annually—that’s over 6 billion gallons of suds.

Beer is indigenous in America. Native Americans made beer—one recipe used maize, birch sap and water—long before Europeans arrived with their Old World brewing techniques.

A lot has changed on the American beer scene since the Boston Beer Co. got things rolling with Sam Adams beer in 1984. Sam Adams started out as a tantalizing microbrew—I’ll be honest, it never was a hit with me—and now Boston Beer is so big that new craft brewers are starting to steal its market share.

One stalwart is D. G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s oldest (and still family owned) brewery that was established in 1829 in Pottsville, PA. I’ve toured the brewery there, it’s built into the side of a hill and the finished beer is still stored in cool caves underground on the site. If you think you’ve found a beer that tastes better than Yuengling lager, maybe you’ve had a bit too much to drink.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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