While beer drinkers still outnumber those who prefer wine and spirits, the beer scene has changed dramatically in recent years. Craft beers have quickly carved out an important niche, as well as a central position in beer lore. With speciality festivals, equipment and paraphernalia, craft beer brewers and drinkers have transformed the industry. Unique beer gifts and beer containers and accessories like growler taps have all found a place in the hearts of beer aficionados.
How craft beer transformed the industry
Beer remains the most popular drink among legal drinkers according to a 2016 Gallup poll, with 43% preferring it to wine and spirits. However, beer drinkers are not content to follow tradition and reach for cans of Dad’s favorite brand. The craft beer movement represents the tastes of a new generation, which opts for small-scale, fresh brewed, and preferably local beers.
The craft beer movement started as an extension of home brewing and quickly took off. At present, small and independent craft brewers make up 12% of the total market in beer. Craft beers are distinguished by being brewed in small batches, and ideally marketed locally, though many brands have earned a national following. They are often seasonal, with flavors like pumpkin and blueberry. In fact, 84% of craft beer drinkers prefer seasonal brews.
The culture of craft beer drinking
Craft beer produced in microbreweries comes with its own culture, festivals, merchandise, and other paraphernalia. There’s an unspoken competition among breweries to come up with witty brand names as well as memorable names for particular brews. The designers aren’t far behind with unique labels and beer mats to match.
There are craft beer festivals, and many breweries have opened up tap rooms, tasting bars, and even restaurants due to popular demand. And then there are beer growlers. Growlers are a revival of an older method of transporting and storing beer, brought back into fashion by craft beer fans. They’re essentially a way of keeping tap beer fresh for a few days, and of transporting a favorite brew back home or sharing it with friends.
Fun facts about growlers
Growlers are vaguely jug shaped and can be made of glass, stainless steel or ceramic. They have a narrow neck and an airtight cap which keeps the beer carbonated. They can be used to bring home tap beer to share with friends and family, or to enjoy over a few days. In fact, growlers were used up until the 19th century to bring home beer from the pub, but were banned later. They’ve come back into fashion now in a big way, and make unique gifts for friends and relatives.
Many liquor stores now also have beer on tap for customers with growlers. Growlers can keep beer fresh for a few days, or transport it to homes, picnics, and family gatherings. Accessories such as growler taps can extend the life of the beer, keeping it good for up to a month. This makes it easier to enjoy your favorite brew at home without having to rush to finish it before it goes flat.
The craft beer revolution has transformed the world of beer drinking, in keeping with the tastes of a new generation. It’s a new culture too, with its own festivals, art, and accessories like growlers and growler taps.