This is the first of Tough Topic Mondays.  Come back each Monday for a deeper conversation on beer.

At the end of last week I wrote on why MillerCoors may be making craft beer.  MASGLBC wrote in that he (or she) drinks for the taste of it.  This I think just might be the main reason why people drink craft beer.  Regardless, taste is still pretty important, because if it tastes like crap why bother.  Years ago there used to be a great number of brewers and brewpubs.  Over time the industry consolidated and focused on just one type of beer.  Yes, I am pointing to Miller, Coors, Bud, and their light versions.  Most of the other breweries were wiped out by big advertising budgets of the big three and a pesky thing known as Prohibition.  The taste of beer became generic, homogeneous, and watery.

There still remained a few regional outfits that produced some, higher quality beer like D.G. Yuengling & Son.  However, most of the beer still lager and quality ales were nonexistent.  Ironic considering most craft brewers I know feel ales are easier to produce.

A slow revolution happened.  In 1984 Anchor brewed the first wheat beer since prohibition and England had the Campaign for Real Ale start in 1971.  Slowly very slowly things change.  In some cases laws had to be changed to even allow brewing.  A demand for beer with taste grew and today we have a diverse wealth of styles, and many that brewers just invent on the spot.

It is amazing at how taste can influence a brewery.  One brewpub I used to frequent constantly I now avoid.  Why? A new brewer came in with new recipes and put his twist on everything.  Even Old Style stopped krausening their beer causing a huge drop in sales.  This led to the eventual reintroduction of the process last year to invigorate sales.

Taste is the singe most important factor in beer.  Come back next week for an examination of how environmental factors influence people to drink craft beer.




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