Walk into many pubs and bars in Canada today and you'll immediately notice a difference in the alcoholic offerings on tap. Not too long ago the brew scene was dominated by large breweries with very generic-tasting beers, but today that's changed. Canada, like the United States, has embraced the craft beer and independent breweries. As these microbreweries grow and spread, the joy of craft beer is reaching new heights in Canadian culture. Here are just a few reasons why microbreweries, brew pubs, and craft beers are experiencing a renewed popularity among Canadian beer drinkers.
A nod to the past
Besides the fact that many microbreweries have quaint English-style pub settings, the establishments hark back to a time when the brew scene wasn't dominated by "the big boys" of brewing, those national and international breweries that mass produced beer that had very little flavour and almost no character. Before the first World War, Canada was home to over one hundred independent breweries. By the 1980s that had changed. over 95% of the beer market was dominated by only three major breweries, limiting the variety and choice that consumers had.
Today's brew pubs hark back to a time when it made good financial sense to sell the beer on site, cutting out some shipping and transport costs. Like their old-time predecessors, many brew pubs also offer a sense of community where fellow craft beer enthusiasts can enjoy the brewery's wares among friends.
Demand for more variety
Some argue that craft beers first saw a resurgence as soon as the 1980s when smaller, independent breweries struck out against the lack of variety and flavour among mass produced beer. The most recent surge in craft beer popularity didn't happen until the 1990s when many brands appeared that are still found in Canada today.
Modern consumers are nothing if not demanding, and variety is one of those things that can make or break businesses in the food and drink industry. Today, there's no shortage of variety among beers produced in microbreweries. Pale ales, meade, wheat beer, lagers and even gluten-free beers can be found in many brew pubs across the country. Flavours such as chocolate, blueberries, peaches, and even coffee are commonplace among craft beers, offering drinkers a greater variety and palette to choose from.
Craft beers are more personal
Even if you don't like traditional lagers or ales, there's a very good chance you'll find some sort of craft beer that you can enjoy. Many microbreweries even offer tasting rooms to encourage drinkers to try as many types of beer as possible in order to find that perfect brew. It's this sort of personalization that draws people in, providing both a sense that the individual's desires are being catered to and a sense of community. Like-minded drinkers with varying tastes can still meet up under one roof to enjoy a drink.
Another reason why some microbreweries have become very popular is that they are seen as small businesses that are often deeply involved in their communities. Small pubs and breweries develop fan bases using everything from the Internet to appreciation events for their customers. Unlike large breweries, brew pubs retain a sense of community spirit even when they see success beyond their own town.
Microbreweries, brew pubs, and craft beers are all a sign of Canada's deep appreciation of both individuality and a sense of community spirit. They offer drinkers a chance to share a brew in good company, hearkening back to the days of the traditional neighbourhood pubs, but offering a distinctly modern take on the beers they offer. Providing plenty of variety, flavour, and character, craft beers are definitely holding their own against mass-produced brews, bringing about a change in the way that consumers view beer altogether.
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