Around the globe for centuries, beer has stood as one of the most popular drinks of all time, brewed everywhere from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to medieval Europe to the present United States, Canada, and beyond. In fact, in times long past, beer was treated more as a food, a “liquid bread,” than the recreational drink that it is today. Now, beer comes in a fantastic variety of flavors and brands, and there are just as many beer products to keep up. Kegs for parties, barrels, home brewery equipment, growlers, and more are always available, and craft beer is some of the most popular alcoholic drinks today, right alongside wines.
Beer is often associated with older bikers or traditional old men, but in fact, beer is most popular with the younger crowd today, and that is bound to include craft beer as well. Younger drinkers, those aged around 21-35, consume an average of 3.1 glasses, as opposed to 2.4 for Gen Xers and 1.9 for Baby Boomers. And in the year 2015, the “Millennial” generation drank 159.6 million cases of wine in the United States, making up 42% of all sales. And at weddings, there is plenty of beer and wine being consumed: on average, 20-25% of a wedding’s catering bill comes from alcohol if the reception has an open bar. All these beverages make for an enormous industry: in the United States, a total of $219.52 billion in alcoholic beverages have been sold in recent history.
What to Drink?
Enthusiasts of beer and wine have many options open to them, foreign and domestic. In 2015, for example, 24.5 million barrels of beer were produced by craft brewers, which represents a 13% rise in volume and 16% growth in retail dollar value. In that same year, the total number of breweries operating in the United States grew to 4,269, an all time high. All of this craft beer comes in a wide variety of light versus dark, different flavors and ingredients, and alcohol content to suit nearly any drinker out there. Those who prefer wine have many options to try out, too. Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are among the most popular brand names, among many, and all these brand can be found in any of the 7,700 wineries across the United States, and every state has at least one.
Accessories for Craft Beer and More
A brewery may sell not only its craft beer and other alcoholic products, but accessories for them all, too. Growlers are a popular option; they are carrying bottles sealed with a gasket, and a person may fill one up from a tap or keg and take the drink elsewhere. It is effectively a thermos or doggy bag for beer, and all types of beer or wine can be held in a growler. What’s more, growlers come a wide variety of shapes, colors, materials, and other custom details, making them festive and expressive drinking vessels. This also makes them appealing as gifts for beer enthusiasts, and can make for a colletor’s item. Growlers originate from metal pails with lids that children carried to breweries on their parents’ behalf, filled with beer, and carried back. Carbon dioxide from the beer would build up and escape from under the metal lid, rattling it with a growling sound.
Craft beer can also be invented and made privately, and for keeping these beers labeled, an owner can buy custom tap markers, or small metal rods that insert into the keg and can have custom labels printed and put into their display cases. A private brewer can promote his or her brand of unique beer with kegs and these markers.