No Crap On Tap: Why Generation-Y Is Obsessed With Craft Beers
It's true: Once you go craft, you never go back.
It's safe to say Generation-Y has put down the cans of Natty Light and graduated onto the flourishing community of craft beer.
Independent brewers around the country have used their creative and entrepreneurial skills to produce individualized tastes that can satisfy anyone's craving, whether it be for hops, malts or flavored ales.
In recent years, an overwhelming amount of craft breweries have popped up around the nation, and now, any beer connoisseur looking to broaden his or her horizons can experiment with new flavors, hops and a high ABV.
According to the Brewer's Association, 1,871 microbreweries have been formed across the country, and we Millennials have grown eager to try every craft beer that catches our eye.
We've become fascinated by the art form that has been created by independent breweries, and we quickly flock to any local bar serving our favorite craft on draft.
That's just the thing: Bars across the nation are beginning to recognize local breweries by adding them to their menus. This gives independent breweries the chance to gain exposure, and it reveals another side of beer that may have not been seen (or tasted) before by the public.
So, what's the deal? Why do we love craft beer so much?
1. Exotic Flavors
Did you say Sriracha Stout? I never thought I would see the day when my favorite condiment would be turned into a beer, and I couldn't be happier.
The amount of crazy beer flavors currently on the market will blow your mind and your taste buds because the possibilities of different ingredients to ferment are endless.
You've got a beer flavor for every occasion, month or emotion.
There's chocolate beer, coffee stouts, fruity ales, hoppy IPAs -- you name it. The possibilities are never-ending, and breweries across the nation are merging their creative juices to form the newest, tastiest craft that will take the country by storm.
2. Higher Alcohol Percentage
Craft beers have an average ABV of 5.9 percent, according to Bart Watson of The Brewers Association, and they will easily give you a nice buzz with just a glass or two.
That's just the beginning, though. According to an article in The Huffington Post, the world's strongest beer is Snake Venom, which is brewed in the Scottish brewery, Brewmeister. Snake Venom takes home the ABV prize at 67.5 percent.
Be careful with the higher-percentage brews, though. You don't want to be playing beer pong with a craft that has an ABV of 18 percent because they aren't meant to be chugged.
They're meant to be enjoyed and appreciated for the craftsmanship that was put into brewing them. The high ABV is a plus for anyone seeking a strong, flavorful beer they can easily catch a nice buzz from.
3. Creative Freedom
Yes, we're judging a "beer" by its cover.
Breweries have an additional task to carry through, which is the artwork showcased on every beer bottle.
Although the artwork isn't as important as how the beer tastes, it still needs to be eye-catching for anyone who hasn't tried the beer yet. The artwork says a lot about a beer, and it has to look as unique as the beer tastes.
That being said, if you're an artistic soul who appreciates a good beer, then craft is the way to go.
Some of my favorite artwork is featured on Dogfish Head Craft Beer, which projects the taste and the history of each beer in a fun, creative way.
Hopefully, now you understand why the craze for craft beers is sweeping the nation.
They're tasty, strong, creative and brewed by local entrepreneurs with a dream for better beer.
If you're heading out tonight for National Beer Day, ask for a list of crafts and try one.
I promise, you won't regret it, and you can thank me when your obsession begins.