Hey guys! This is Heinreich, the intern at BiteHunter.com. Since the team is heading over to Bar 13 for an event, and hopefully drinks afterwards, I’d like to share a few thoughts on two popular drinking trends today: microbrews and homebrewing.
Beer has been a sort of quiet staple to American culture and the world community as a whole. Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia have recorded the existence and consumption of beer thousands of years before names like Anheuser-Busch ever touched our lips. The process of making beer made water much safer to drink by killing off bacteria very early in the making while introducing respectable amounts of nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium in the end product. During the ancient times, this made it as much a practical drink as anything else. Nowadays we can all agree over-consumption is a terrible idea and we should all drink responsibly, but having one beer every now and again won’t hurt.
Microbreweries and their microbrews have gotten a lot of attention lately and their popularity continues to rise. From 2009-2010 the Brewers Association (BA) reports that sales internationally of microbrews has increased by about 28%. Further in the report the BA states that U.S. exports to foreign countries have increased for the 8th straight year. Craft breweries are very popular in the Midwest, Northwest (Portland, Oregon is especially famous) and parts of the Northeast (i.e. Maine). Their popularity stems from the breweries experimenting with the actual flavors and manufacturing process of their beers; local support and word-of-mouth; and the fact that the small-scale nature of microbreweries lends itself to a much more focused and friendlier type of customer service. I can personally attest to this latter from a visit to the Harvest Moon Brewery in New Brunswick, NJ. I asked for Yuengling but they didn’t have any at the time so the bartender asked me to try out a bunch of their house brews. I did and found one I enjoyed!
The word “homebrew” can conjure up images of a man sitting on a log, smoking a pipe while cleaning out his rifle. Right beside him are a series of large metallic stills where illegal liquor of some sort is being made. Though scenes like this still exist in the backwoods of America somewhere, the modern homebrew scene is far more sophisticated, openly respected, and very legal in most places; just as long as they’re only making beer AND it’s not for sale. Basic info on how to make homebrew beer, buy some basic ingredients, and learn tricks-of-the-trade can be found easily online. The American Homebrewers Association (HA) has a very informative site about the subject; they even have a page dedicated to laws that govern where it’s legal to homebrew. With the right amount of money, a man or woman can gather all these resources and create their own beer. Experimentation and fun go hand-in-hand in this endeavor which makes it very popular with beginning beer-makers and beer aficianados.
Well that’s enough for today my beer-drinking friends. The team and I hope to see you all there at Tech Cocktail! Cheers!