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Great Moments in Craft Beer History

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Never before has craft beer been more popular in the United States than today. It accounts for about 12% of the American beer market. If you love craft beer, grab your growler and check out this great list of great points in its history brought to the world by Vine Pair.

  • The government made Cascade hops available to the general public. These floral and a little bitter and citrusy hops are now one of the most popular varieties in the country. No matter what has been developed since then, these remain a staple and a classic.
  • The American Porter underwent a revival of sorts thanks to Anchor Brewing, also in 1972. This brewery got its start in the 1800s so its work to get the American Porter beer back into people’s beer growlers was different because this was not a small firm that made a difference in American craft today.
  • President Jimmy Carter made it legal to brew beer at home in 1978. This was a big deal for homebrewers at the time. The ban on homebrewing began with Prohibition but was not repealed when that went by the wayside. On the federal level that changed under the Carter Administration. Carter himself was known to enjoy filling personal kegs with the brew he made at home.
  • American hops get their moment to shine with the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in 1980. Today, American hops can be found just about everywhere but that was not always the case. That recipe that was developed back then remains the beer company’s most popular beer.
  • The Colorado craft beer market got a boost from Fat Tire in 1991. One of the most popular breweries in Colorado’s craft beer market is New Belgium Brewing. It owes its success to Fat Tire. The Fat Tire Amber is a delicious addition.
  • The Boston Beer Company made a splash in 1995. The popularity of the brewery’s most well-known beer, Samual Adams Boston Lager, kicked the company into high gear and it went public in 1995. This started the brewery on the road to becoming one of the most successful American beer companies. This company has gone beyond being successful, it is now iconic.
  • Continuous hopping becomes a think with Dogfish Ale’s 90 Minute IPA. This represented an advance in beer making and brought the brewery into the limelight. It would go on to bring out three more “minute” beers; 60, 70 and 120. Before these beers were made, hops were added twice during the brew at the start and again at the end of the process. This method adds them throughout the brewing process.
  • Craft beer is put into cans for the first time in 2002. Up until this year, it was unheard of to get it in cans. It could be stored in awesome growlers but it was sold in stores in bottles. Oskar Blues did not like that idea and went with cans. Today, this is the way to do things and about 2,100 different beers use cans rather than bottles.
  • Anheuser-Busch gets into the game by buying Goose Island. The beer giant bought the smaller company for a whopping $38.8 million. Goose Island was a big deal in the craft beer industry. For some, this showed the company had sold out and it was dropped from some stores. It did still make a profit and the giant would go on to buy other smaller brewing companies.
  • Heineken brought Lagunitas to the world. In 2015, the large beer company bought 50% of the smaller brewery. This meant that small company could no longer really be called a “craft brewery.” Many people thought the owner of Lagunitas had sold out its supporters but this also marked the moment when the world showed that no craft beer company was immune from interest from the big beer industry.
  • A beer lover fought big beer and big beer won. in 2016, a craft beer lover tried to sue Miller Coors, saying their Blue Moon could not really be called a craft beer. The courts disagreed and the large beer company was able to label and market Blue Moon as a craft beer.

Craft beer is only getting more popular, now that you have the history, raise a growler to craft beer!

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