One of the world’s oldest beverages, beer has been around for nearly 10,000 years—likely since the beginning of agriculture—and has been credited with being instrumental in forming civilizations.
The original local brew, beer was initially produced at home and local breweries were commonplace up until 100 years ago. Today, beer has come full circle. With big beer producers and national brands on top for nearly a century, it’s interesting to see tastes change as beer connoisseurs look for increasingly more local options to quench their thirst.
Modern fans of the beverage are willing to pay more in order to drink something interesting, something local and something different. With more than 2,700 craft breweries operating in the US (a number not seen since the heyday in the 1800s), there are lots of local options, with new breweries popping up at the rate of 1.2 per day. This neighborhood vibe is a key factor to growth in the beer industry. While overall beer production fell in 2013, craft beer was up almost 10% in the US and Canada. Originally, experts believed it was the unique flavors that drew beer lovers to craft brews. But it’s clear now that locality is a also big factor in a beer’s appeal—especially for drinkers in the 21-34 demographic. With the steady popularity of local food movements, like the 100-mile diet, it’s no surprise the same rules are being applied to beer. To find a local brewery, you can check out this interactive map for craft brewers in the US or this list of Ontario breweries in Canada. For those interested in crafting their own brew, the Home Brew Journal is a stylish logbook for storing your secret recipes.