American Craft Beer Week
Yesterday started the 10th annual American Craft Beer Week. America’s craft breweries have grown in number over the last two decades, and each year the industry grows more and more. We have more breweries nationwide then anyone has seen since the 1930’s. ACBW gives us reason to celebrate the beer revolution that has flourished over the past decades. Organizations like Free the Hops and other grassroots movements in favor of the craft beer industry have had a huge impact on this growth; and are behind my journey as a lover of craft brews.
For much of my life, you would probably hear me order a standard, whatever’s-on-tap type of beer. Don’t get me wrong, these beers have played a big part in American beer culture; but I’ve learned to broaden my horizons beyond $2 tall boys. The first craft beer I had was thanks to a friend, who I will forever be indebted to. He asked if I had ever tried anything from Left Hand Brewing Company, and of course I hadn’t. The next thing I knew, I had a beer full of aroma, flavor, and amazing color sitting in front of me. This was the start of a personal revolution and my eyes were opened to a whole new world: the world of craft beer.
I was able to enjoy this beer because of the progress Free the Hops has made in Alabama. Alabama's craft beer movement started with increasing the allotted alcohol by volume (ABV) of beer, which opened the door for out-of-state breweries to be able to distribute in my home state of Alabama. In 2010, there were only had a couple of breweries in the state. The next years, Free the Hops helped to pass the Brewery Modernization Act; which freed up the constraints formerly placed on the opening of new breweries. The final piece of the puzzle was legalizing home brewing. As of 2015, Alabama has two dozen breweries and counting, and the craft brewery industry is flourishing!
The road to amazing beer has been hard for many states and brewery owners, but the passion for the craft beer community has triumphed. During American Craft Beer Week, we celebrate with other beer geeks and thank breweries for sharing their passion and products with us. The Brewery Buddy team encourages you to try a couple of beers you have never had this week, stop by a local brewery, and meet the people who craft the beer you love. We promise you, they are amazing people and they have an amazing story to tell.
Cheers to all of the craft breweries!