Beer is great. It’s thirst quenching, bubbly, warming, features complex tastes, and is just generally enjoyable to drink. Oh, and it also makes your brain release endorphins, which mute pain and turn up pleasure.

Of course, too much of it can kill you. But in moderation, it’s pretty awesome. In fact, behind soda and bottled water, it’s Americans’ third-favorite drink. We’re talking over 5.5 billion gallons of beer made by Americans, sold to Americans in 2011.

Beer’s popular and in high demand, so a growing number of amateur brewers are borrowing some start-up capital and opening their own breweries. They don’t have the automated network of tanks and hoses that the Anheuser-Busch’s of the world have and their product is less consistent because of it. And yet, craft brewers, as they call themselves, do brisk business. The proof is in the growth: as of the beginning of the year, craft brewers enjoyed two consecutive years of 15% increases in sales. This market encouraged the opening of 250 new breweries in 2011 alone.

It’s rewarding work being a taste maker.


Thanks to Brian Fines and the great people at Cape Ann Brewing Company. Find them at: