Our Look Who’s Brewing series continues, following Look Who’s Brewing Too, Look Who’s Brewing Now, we run out of 80s movie references and simply content ourselves with adding a helpful date to the title.
Some argue that “crafty beer is dying,” which even when you break his argument to its most basic premise is preposterous. The author points to Sierra Nevada (and others) reinventing beer — but in doing so they also created the blueprint that virtually all craft breweries followed for the next couple of decades. Lagunitas, Stone and others then pulled craft brewing away from pale to its hopped up cousin with the success of their IPA offerings and soon that became the defining style of craft brewing. While there are many jokes about IPAs dominating tap lists, the truth is this one style alone offers a wider range of flavors (traditional west coast, east coast, north east hazys, hybrids among them, English, session, double, triple, black, red, white, wet-hopped,dry-hopped, milkshake, fruited, fooded, even cheesed for some inexplicable reason, as well as countless other varieties and more being invented everyday) than did the brewpubs of yesteryear. This combined with perhaps an even wider range of stouts and sours (each of which double up the basic range of concepts IPAs tread with the limitless possibilities of barrel aging) leads to more variety than most craft fans could enjoy in a lifetime.
Little by little, brewers are even seeing their long frustrated dream become a reality and being able to brew (and sell) lagers with flavor. The good folks at Boston Brewing getting in on it proves that this idea is very much hitting the mainstream:
Yes, tasting your beer is a very good thing!
And the data proves that, in California at least, beer drinkers are developing better and better taste. Statewide, output from independent breweries increased by 6 percent, with the Sacramento region’s breweries production surging forward by 22 percent. Sacramento’s increase was led by New Glory and Device, who each approximately doubled their output from 2017. Urban Roots and Moksa made impressive debuts, each topping 30 thousand gallons in their first year. Meanwhile, Knee Deep’s percentage growth may not compare, but the region’s biggest brewer continues to grow and widened its lead on every brewery except New Glory.
While craft brewing continues to grow, America’s macro breweries remain in slow decline. I suppose it’s clear Whazzuuuup with Budweiser’s Attack on Sacramento Brewing. Though that doesn’t seem to be going so well … I guess we’ll just have to content ourselves with drinking beer with flavor in the meantime.
Or, better yet, let’s say, congratulations, Sacramento, we have good taste in beer.