The second annual Madison Craft Beer Week may have come and gone, but that’s no reason to stop enjoying lovingly created beers from small breweries. Happily, there’s good news on that front, as reported by USA Today’s Chuck Raasch in this article that my brother-in-law (thanks, T!) recently shared with me. As Raasch reports,
Even as U.S. beer consumption overall is flat, the craft brew market is booming, with double-digit sales growth last year. The Brewers Association says that since 2004, craft brews have doubled their market share to nearly 6%, and that 250 breweries opened last year. The 1,940 operating in 2011 were the most since the 1880s, the industry group says. Big and small brewers alike are capitalizing on a confluence of trends in palates, cooking, economics, demographics, even politics. The buy-local movement, coupled with a political push against big corporations, skews toward local brewers. Palates have evolved to expect choices and local flavors in cheese, coffee, bread. Why not beer?
The full story is a nice read, so check it out here.