Article by: Eric Blumenfeld,
Beerspoke Tours CEO
Lately, all we hear about is how we're in the golden age of craft beer. Time and time again. "Hey everyone - it's the golden age!"; "You can't go anywhere without bumping into a brewery!"; "Find myriad styles, brewed with myriad ingredients, via myriad methods, everywhere!"; "Rejoice, beer lovers!"
Well, there's a good reason for that. It's absolutely damn true. There are more breweries in the United States than at any point in history (now over 6,000, according to the Brewers Association, including microbreweries, brewpubs and regional breweries). With the exception of a few that have been taken over by the conglomerates (a topic to be covered another time), everyone is brewing their own unique beers in their own unique ways. America is a beer lover's playground.
By nature of its makeup, beer can be brewed to have almost infinite flavor profiles. Beer's 4 core ingredients -- water, malt, yeast and hops -- can be adjusted in so many ways: strain of yeast, variety of hops, how much and and when they are added, type of malt or malts added, and how much of each, temperature and time variations, etc. Then, except for those who commit to Reinheitsgebot (the German purity law limiting brewers to using only water, malt, yeast and hops in the production of their beers), a brewer may add almost anything under the sun to their beers to adjust the flavor. Add that to the type of storage unit used, for how long, serving temperature, carbonation types and levels, etc., and you've got basically no limit on how the beer you drink is going to smell, taste and feel.
Hey, you know what else offers a pretty ginormous variety of options? Travel in the ol' US of A. This massive country of ours lends itself perfectly to incredibly varied cities that have become beer meccas, offering tons of different breweries, brew pubs and beer bars to visit, all within wildly different physical landscapes and microcultures. Travel enthusiasts have so much to choose from within this country alone, and, fortunately, that lines up pretty well with our beer options. And with so much to know, how the heck can you possibly keep up with everything? We're here to help. Stay tuned for all the behind the scenes info, stories, interviews, heads ups, holy craps, seriously?s and everything in between. Coming right up.
I'll drink to that!