By Kate Brown and Sam Levin-SmithBy Kate Brown, BloombergBusinessweek magazineA few weeks ago, the New York Times ran an article by a writer who was looking for the next great craft beer story, and the headline was worth reading.
Craft beer is changing the way Americans eat, drink, and talk about food, says Brian Beutler, a former chief executive of craft beer maker Lagunitas.
It’s not a simple shift: craft beer and its competitors have long been a part of the American palate.
The industry is so lucrative that craft beer’s annual earnings have risen more than 50% in the last three years, according to the Brewers Association.
But what if craft beer could be a way for consumers to connect with the craft in their own lives, rather than just on a label?
Craft beer has also made a big impact on the way consumers shop, and Beutell’s company has seen a dramatic rise in demand over the last decade.
It is easy to see why consumers want to connect to their food and drink with a little bit of craft flavor.
And for the first time, we’re talking about beer that can be made by hand, be it at home or in restaurants.
It’s a bit of a shift in taste, says Matt Wertheimer, a beverage industry analyst at research firm Canaccord Genuity.
Craft beer can offer something different, he says.
But, the challenge is getting consumers to get excited about it.
Craft brewers say they’ve been trying to find a new way to bring people into the experience.
Their success, they say, is not only the result of the craft culture, but also the success of brands like Sierra Nevada.
Craft brewing has been embraced by younger generations and even by older generations, Beutel says.
The craft beer movement has always been about the future of food, not just the future for people.
The beer movement is about making something people can eat and drink together.
Craft brewers say their beers can be as good as or better than any other beer.
Craft breweries can’t compete with the big beer brands, but they can take on the competition by focusing on their own products and products that can’t be easily identified.
And if you can, craft brewers can tap into the same consumer demand for craft as the big guys, Beuetel says, which makes it a more appealing and relevant market for the craft.
To make a beer like Sierra’s Blue Moon, which has a strong orange flavor, you have to work with the ingredients that are naturally occurring in the Pacific Northwest, says Beutels company’s vice president, Mike Bierstadt.
In this case, that means a lot of hops.
The brewers at Sierra Nevada also rely on yeast and yeast strains grown in the state.
Beutlers Blue Moon has a slight tartness from the addition of some vanilla, which helps with the balance.
But the real key ingredient is the malt.
The hops and yeast combine to create a strong, sweet malt that’s perfect for creating the flavor profile of the Blue Moon.
The Blue Moon is sold in six-packs at many beer bars and specialty retailers, but it also has a limited distribution in the Northeast.
In the meantime, Sierra Nevada is releasing a limited-release beer called Red Moon, with an orange flavor.
Both beers are sold exclusively at craft stores.
Beutel and Wertheim say Sierra Nevada and craft brewers have a shared goal: to change the way people think about beer.
The brands are part of a larger movement to reimagine the way food and beer are served, Beuzels says.
And in the process, they’re trying to create new ways to interact with their consumers.
Craft beers can create new consumer experiences, says Sam Levin, a veteran craft beer journalist who now runs the beer blog BeerAdvocate.
Craft beer has a lot going for it: It’s really popular, it’s really easy to get into and drink, it has a great name, and it has tons of flavors.
But in the end, you can’t take away from the fact that it’s a very organic and delicious product, Levin says.
Craftsmen like Werther say craft beer has to be a different experience from big brands, because consumers don’t care for the way big brands get in the way of their taste.
It just isn’t what they’re used to, Werthe says.