The Explosive Popularity of Craft Beer
The craft beer industry is on fire. Its explosive popularity has been brewing over the last few years. And, it doesn’t look like it will cool down anytime soon. Over 5,300 craft breweries and brew pubs were in operation in the U.S. at the end of 2016. From Denver to Asheville to Grand Rapids home brewers are perfecting their craft, opening breweries and brew pubs, and making a mark in the industry.
And, the city of Austin and surrounding areas are no exception. Local craft breweries and brew pubs in Austin and beyond are surviving, thriving, and growing. According to the Austin Craft Beer website, at the beginning of this year 63 breweries and brew pubs were operating in the Austin area. However, that does not include those establishments that are waiting for their licenses. At the time of this writing, the number could be slightly larger. Overall, over 250 craft breweries and brew pubs operate in the state of Texas.
The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as someone that sell less than six million barrels of beer or less a year and is independent. In addition, their products have traditional or innovative flavorings and fermentation methods.
A brief history of the craft beer industry
Historically, the craft beer industry started to take shape in the 70s. Popular imports brought to the U.S. from immigrants around the world were disappearing. Varieties on shelves in the states at the time primarily consisted of light lagers. The shift came in 1976 when a homebrewing enthusiast founded The New Albion Brewery in Sonoma, Calif. kicking off what some say is the true renaissance of the craft beer industry. The brewery folded after six years. But, its existence during those years was an inspiration to home brewers.
True beer connoisseurs started brewing their own. Eventually, those brewers began to open brew pubs and microbreweries in the 80s. However, they struggled to establish a true presence in the marketplace. The industry has seen both ups and downs. In the mid-90s the industry saw an unexpected growth spur. However, it was followed by a lull in sales in the late 90s to the early 2000s. Craft beer sales since 2004 have been on the rise.
Enjoy a local craft beer with dad on Father’s Day
On Father’s Day grab dad and savor a cold one. Ales, lagers, pilsners, porters and much more fill the taps of Austin’s craft breweries. While there, take a beer tour, participate in a taproom tasting, or fill your growler.
You can also spend the day with dad on one of Austin’s Brewery tours or take a trek on the Texas Hill Country Craft Beer Trail. The trail highlights 17 craft breweries and brew pubs stretching from New Braunfels to Fredericksburg to Blanco to Dripping Springs. A few of those breweries include Adelbert’s Brewery, Jester King Brewery, Real Ale Brewing Company and Twisted X Brewing Company. You can take your car and explore on your own, or leave the driving to someone else. A variety of shuttle tours lets you choose from a full-cruise, three-brew cruise, or four-brew cruise and more.
Or, stay close to your Travisso home. There’s no better place to grab a beer than Whitestone Brewery in Cedar Park. Conveniently located on RM 1431 at the Railyard, Whitestone’s taproom is open seven days a week. They also offer growlers and crawlers to go, gift certificates, and Pub Club memberships. Check out their website for their hours of operation.
Travisso wish all dads a very Happy Father’s Day. Cheers!