The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

America Now Has Over 3,000 Craft Breweries

US Craft BeersBrewers Association just announced that 3,000-plus craft breweries now operate in America.  Last year’s craft sales climbed 17.2 percent, overseas exports have escalated, and breweries such as Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues recently constructed second breweries to spread their bitter ales farther, wider and fresher.

Noted brewer and Dogfish Head president Sam Calagione says “we’re heading into an incredibly competitive era of craft brewing.  There’s a bloodbath coming.”

Writer Joshua Bernstein argues he is “on board with America abandoning middle-of-the-road beer and exploring flavourful new directions.  The highway, however, is getting mighty crowded.  Hundreds of different beers debut weekly, creating a scrum of session IPAs, spiced witbiers, and barrel-aged stouts scuffling for shelf space.  For consumers, the situation is doubly confusing.  How can you pick a pint on a 100-brew tap list?  Moreover, beer shops are chockablock with pale this and imperial that, each one boasting a different hop pun.  When buying beer, I can’t count how many times I’ve assisted overwhelmed shoppers, playing the benevolent Sherpa in the wilds of modern brewing.  In the ’90s, it was effortless to select a craft beer: It was the one that tasted different.  Today, quality is no longer the sole differentiator.”

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