Sunday, July 4, 2010

USA! USA! USA!

Well, it's July 4th, happy birthday to the USofA!, so that can only mean it's time for the World Cup of Beer post about the good ole United States of America.  And while the USA might not quite dominate the soccer world, we kick ass when it comes to beer.  And I'm not talking about the mass-produced swill that isn't even American-owned anymore either.  Sure, I kicked back more than enough $4 34 oz. Bud Selects while watching America play in this World Cup, but that just proves that there is a time and place for even the macros.  I hate to admit it sometimes, but it's true.

 The good thing about the USA though, is that just about anywhere you go you can usually find some microbrews.  Regional breweries used to be all the rage, as back in the day (pre-prohibition that is) shipping beer wasn't very practical so most drinking went on from brews that came from close to home.  Prohibition (really?  who thought that was a good idea?) killed off all but the bigger brewers that had the resources to switch to other beverages and other uses for their lines.  So... once prohibition ended (and then WWII ended) the industry was dominated by all the bigger beers and craft was essentially non-existent.  The 50s, 60s, and then 70s were dominated by the big boys, as they grew, marketed themselves, and bought out all competition.  By the end of the 1970s there were only 44 brewing companies in the USA, but that was soon to change.  

Starting in the late 70s and through the 80s until today craft breweries have experienced remarkable growth!  While some of this is a product of revolt against the bland macros, I have to believe that the growth of the technology sector has made a huge impact.  People are blogging about beer, writing about beer, creating entire websites devoted to rating beer and trading rare beers with other enthusiasts across the country.  People can order homebrew ingredients online and take that love and start their own brewery, like my friend Andrew did with Parish Brewing in Broussard, LA.

 The fact of it is, though... I firmly believe that if I had to pick one and only one country to drink from for the rest of my life, it would be the United States.  There is just too much variety and too many fantastic microbreweries to choose anywhere else.  America!! FUCK YEAH!!

 
Sources:
Beer in the United States
Brewers Association
Parish Brewing