The Craft Beer Revolution and its Artifacts
The craft beer revolution is here. Driven by the tastes of a new generation and the popularity of home brews, it now commands a substantial share of the beer market. It changes the way beer is produced, distributed and drunk. With microbrew festivals, small batch and seasonal brews and growler bars, the beer landscape is changing fast, with many new types of beers produced each season. But what?s a growler bar anyway? For answers to this question and many other fascinating facts about local beers, read on…
The craft beer revolution
Craft beer reflects the tastes of a new generation. In a very short time, microbrews have taken over 21% of the total market for beer. Craft and local beer has four market segments, namely brewpubs, microbreweries, regional craft breweries and contract brewing companies. Because craft beers are produced in small batches, they often have seasonal flavors, which must be sold and consumed within a shorter time frame than traditional types of beer.
Microbreweries typically produce small batches, and also limit their overall production. Annual production for a micro brewery is less than 15,000 barrels a year. Craft beers have spawned an entire culture, with festivals, tastings and growler bars. Brand names, names of brews and label art are unique and often witty. Craft beers are typically preferred by those who prefer to try something new and unusual.
What is a growler bar?
Very simply put, a growler is a container for take-out craft beer. Growler bars have craft beers on tap, and also filling stations, for customers to take home the brews they?ve been drinking. Growlers are also used for home brews. They can be made of glass, steel or ceramic, and look a little like something you?d expect to see the peasants drinking out of in a swords and sorcery film.
Growlers were used in the nineteenth century to transport beer home from the pub, but fell out of favor for a while. With the craft brew revolution, they?ve made a comeback. Shaped like a small keg with an airtight cap and a carrying handle, they?re the pride and joy of beer geeks and breweries alike. Filling a growler requires the same careful handling as pouring a glass of beer, in order to preserve the taste of the beer.
The care and handling of growlers
While growlers are handy, beer in these containers has a shorter shelf life than in a bottle, can, or keg. It?s best drunk within a few days, and kept in the cold and dark. Growlers full of beer should not be kept too hot or too cold.
In the craft beer world, reducing a beer?s footprint is an important concern. That?s one reason for the popularity of growlers, because they are refillable and recyclable. Fans even collect growlers, or buy them as Father?s Day presents.
Bars, wine stores and even delis now carry a variety of craft beers to meet the popular demand. Local brews and new types of beer add to the fun, taste and lore of beer drinking for a new generation.