Crafting a New Era of Beer: How Small Breweries Are Bubbling With Possibilities

The triumph of the little guy is playing out in your glasses.

In the wake of decades of success from big-name beer companies, a new attitude in beverages seems to be brewing. Where macro-brews once reigned supreme, craft breweries have experienced a major surge in popularity in recent years.

Keep reading to learn about the David and Goliath story that gave birth to the craft beer revolution.

Many craft brewers feel that their creation is far more than just a drink — it’s a coast-to-coast community, a creative expression and a lifestyle.

“We have grown over 6,000 small and independent craft breweries in the country,” said Frances Lopez, the executive director of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. “This is the highest number of independent breweries that we’ve had in the nation since pre-prohibition.”

For decades, beer has been dominated by a few major names. For example, Anheuser-Busch InBev merged with Sab Miller Coors, making it responsible for 30 percent of the beer produced around the world. Meanwhile, for many independent breweries, it’s about quality, not quantity.

“It’s the people that really make the industry,” said Lynne Weaver, the founder and CEO of Three Weavers Brewing Company. “It is really what creates something unique, and it’s these various voices that translate into the glass.”

Weaver, who named the company after her three daughters, decided to create the brewery as a chance to be an “active role model” for her girls.

“I wanted them to see me start something from nothing and to show them that they could — with a lot of hard work — start anything,” she added.

Lynne is not alone in following her passion. According to Lopez, in 2009 there were only five breweries in Los Angeles County — in the last five years, there are now 75 with over a dozen slated to open in the next year. In fact, from January 2017 to 2018, comparing month-to-month, the county experienced a more than 185 percent growth rate.

“We’re at almost 20 percent of the beer market, which is a flash in the pan when all things are considered,” said Lopez. “But at the end of the day, it’s definitely something that has made large companies very nervous.”

Click to keep reading about why you should support small businesses.