Touring Boulder’s popular Avery Brewing Company Friday, Sen. Mark Udall said Colorado’s craft beer industry is being buoyed by a favorable regulatory climate that’s leading to brewery expansions and job creation.
It's a good time to be a craft brewer, as Americans are thirsty for full-flavored and local beers. But when small breweries grow, they can also risk losing some of the "craftiness" their fans love. And when they expand, many brewers have to rewrite their recipes — starting with the water.
It used to be terms like “economic impact” and “beer” were rarely uttered in the same breath. But there's a growing interest in the topic from the media, economists, and now a Denver-based documentary film crew.
It's a good time to brew beer in America. According to beer expert Julia Herz, U.S. brewing isn't just on the upswing, it's on top. "We're now the No. 1 destination for beer, based on diversity and amount of beers," she says.
But if you want to see the strength of America's beer industry, you may want to look past beverage giants like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. According to the Brewers Association, nearly 2,000 American brewers operated during 2011 — the most since the 1880s.