Cheers, Craft Beer Snobs!
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
May 15th through the 21st is designated as American Craft Beer Week. It is an industry-wide effort to excite beer lovers across the nation and show support for small and independent U.S. breweries. As we are in the full throes of spring and headed for the warmer climes of summer, it is a fitting celebration for the beer community in anticipation of their upcoming busy season.
Craft beer hit the scene in the 1990s as microbreweries began to pop up across the nation. People were unsure what to think at first. It was different. New. Exciting. With craft beer, consumers could experiment with a diversity of beer styles and taste profiles.
Definitely not your run-of-the-mill beer selections anymore!
So, what IS craft beer exactly?
Well, it’s typically made with traditional ingredients like malted barley. In fact, to be labeled as craft beer it must be made using real malts. This creates a flavor explosion, offering better texture and more dimension. Another typical difference is that craft beer is regularly left unfiltered and unpasteurized.
Marketing teams took the bull by the horns and adapted strategies to target beer drinkers looking for something different. People who were tired of the mass-marketed beer brands who produce “ok” beer for low prices. Instead, craft breweries set their sights on high quality ingredients to diversify themselves, creating a sense of luxury being a step above the rest.
In essence, creating beer snobs one pint at a time!
How did they do that, you ask? Well, they found the perfect target market.
Craft beer was introduced to this generation because of their willingness to try new things. Growing up in the biggest boom of technological advancements, Millennials aren’t afraid of change. They know how to grow, and adapt, and are seemingly more accepting of new things.
Like craft beer.
But it isn’t ONLY the Millennial generation who enjoys the hoppy goodness of craft beer. Research has found a variety of ages partake in the enjoyment of this non-traditional beverage.
In fact, so many people are enjoying it, the Independent Brewers Association says the U.S. beer market by volume rose a whopping 21% last year. That equates to approximately $26.8 billion, or just under 27% of the entire $100 billion U.S. beer market.
Luckily, we’ve got one of the finest breweries in the Midwest right here in Clear Lake.
Lake Time Brewery opened its doors TEN years ago! Unbelievable, right?
Bob Rolling started with just a small brewhouse in the backroom on the corner of 8th & Main. He could only be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday each week because that was all he was able to do at one time. As people began to fall in love with his delicious concoctions, he knew he needed an upgrade.
Over the years, he’s gone from adding crowlers, to a bigger brewhouse, to buying the production facility, to expanding their outside seating, then purchasing a canning line, and now including beer slushies and other beverages in the taproom.
Quite a difference from ten years ago.
Lake Time is not a time, but a state of mind. It’s the ultimate guide to lake-living at its finest. Eat when you are hungry. Sleep when you are tired. Fish, swim, read a great book, and enjoy the sunshine when you please. Naps are encouraged. Friends and family are welcome. Nature is embraced.
That is Lake Time.
“It’s been a pretty awesome ten years,” Bob said. “I look forward to the next ten to see where this little hobby take us!”
One thing is for sure – craft beer is here to stay! Brewers and business owners are plowing forward, innovating, and finding new ways to create the next generation of beer snobs.
One pint at a time!