January 26, 2018

Having lived through America’s Craft Beer Revolution—and being a beer drinker before it even began—I can appreciate a thoughtful and objective look back on its impact and significance. That’s exactly what this article, which appeared in both The Atlantic and Citylab, provides. Derek Thompson does a nice job in briefly describing the beer landscape that used to exist in America and how crafty beer appeared at just the right moment to take advantage of changing tastes at first, and then economic circumstances later.

While a lot of beer drinkers and beer writers focus on cultural issues, style developments and personalities, Thompson does a nice job describing the Craft Beer Revolution’s economic impact, and how the expansion of local breweries and jobs has come during a period of industrial and retail consolidation. It seems like an anomaly, but fits in perfectly during an era when the Great Recession sparked innovation, forced many people to become new entrepreneurs and boosted interest in local production.

Changing tastes play their role too—and the article explains how the traditional three-tier system shaped the brewing industry for so many decades. All in all, it’s a solid read and a concise, accurate place to start if you want to get a helpful grip on U.S. beer history.


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