THE BEER BEAT: Everybody wants to rule the world — maybe “craft” beer will, too.


Lew Bryson’s column is linked below, but first: Beer with a Socialist.

If you missed it earlier at Facebook, my friend Jonathan Kiviniemi had the best idea ever:

“An event popped into my feed, ‘Beer with a Scientist’ at Against the Grain and I misread it as ‘Beer with a Socialist’ and instantly wondered what you were doing with ATG.”

This is exactly what the world of beer commentary is sorely lacking: Beer with a Socialist. I’m grateful to Jonathan for the idea, and will owe him a beer of three is this goes anyplace.

Now, give it up for Lew Bryson and another thought-provoking (and fun) column at The Daily Beast.

Has American Craft Beer Taken Over the World?

 … It should come as no surprise that American brewers are now finding jobs across Europe, Asia, and Africa. But they’re not going around the world to learn from locals but to make the same beers they’ve made at home, and they’re a hit.

That’s quite a reversal. When the craft beer movement began in America in the 1970s, there were already lots of small breweries in countries like Germany, Belgium, and the UK. Many of them made great beer, fantastic beer. But they made the traditional beers of their respective lands and cultures: lagers and wheat beers in Germany, a relatively narrow variety of malt-forward ales in the UK, and an eccentric but consistent array of ales in Belgium.

Just as in the U.S., there were some new small brewers that opened in Europe, Scandinavia and Japan. But unlike their American counterparts, they made beer using the national template, perhaps gently tweaked. I remember going to several “house” breweries in the Czech Republic that served a variety of pilsners, some flavored with herbs, some unfiltered. British brewers made porters, pale ales, summer ale, and mild.

American craft brewers on the other hand, impatiently floored it and blew the doors off brewing. (What else would you have expected?) Not only did this approach work but over the past 15 years these upstarts have been able to claim an ever increasing chunk out of the very profitable U.S. beer market. Their wildly different beers—IPAs running on overdrive, “imperial” everything, “session” this and that, big barrel-aged beers, and crazy, hazy New England IPA—have become best-sellers.

The world’s next generation of brewers was intently watching this beer revolution and soon began emulating their American counterparts …