Drew Brosseau, president of Mayflower Brewing Co. in Plymouth, says craft beers, which are usually made at local breweries, offer drinkers bolder tastes than the brands hawked by the major brewers. “No doubt there’s been a big movement in the direction of local beers,” he says.
Budweiser, Miller and Coors once loomed large over the American beer market, but an increasing number of people are turning to more idiosyncratic beers, popularly referred to as “craft beers,” which are often brewed and distributed regionally.
“No doubt there’s been a big movement in the direction of local beers,” said Drew Brosseau, president of Mayflower Brewing Co. in Plymouth, Mass. “It’s a trend away from mass-produced goods toward more interestingly flavored products, whether it’s chocolate, coffee or beer.”
Brosseau said craft beers offer drinkers bolder tastes than the brands hawked by the major brewers. He said craft brewers have helped popularize more challenging styles of beer such as India Pale Ale and Hefeweizen. Because many craft beer companies are relatively local, their products are fresher. A six pack of craft beer is usually no more than a month old, while other beers can be sold on shelves as much as six months after bottling. Unlike wine, beer doesn’t get better with age.
Brewers suggest that beer drinkers interested in learning more about boutique flavors visit the craft beer shows in the area, such as Boston’s American Craft Beer Festival in the summer.
Craft beer six packs cost $8 to $12.
Brewers and distributors believe that the burgeoning popularity of more adventurous beers is attributable to younger drinkers.
“Younger folks want to establish their own identities, not fit a mold,” Eric McKay, director of communications for L. Knife & Son, a distributor that acquired the Randolph, Mass.-based Craft Brewers Guild’s specialty beers. “People can be unique if they’re drinking a variety of craft beers.”
Brent Lang may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some Bay State craft brewers
Harpoon Brewery, South Boston: Widely available in South Shore liquor stores. Brewer offers Munich Dark, Hefeweizen and brown ales. The Raspberry Hefeweizen is a sweet treat.
Cisco Brewers, Nantucket: Among its varieties are stouts, porters and lagers. Try the Sankaty Light brand. It’s a flavorful golden ale that goes well with fish.
Mayflower Brewing, Plymouth: Offers India Pale Ale , porter, and pale ale. The Thanksgiving Ale has undercurrents of caramel and vanilla.
Mercury Brewing, Ipswich: Carries stouts, ales, nut brown ales and supporters. Its Harvest Fest Ale is only available in the fall and has a wonderful chocolate malt finish that pairs well with heartier meals.
Cape Cod Beer, Hyannis: Offers amber ale and India Pale Ale, as well as a seasonal porter and Bavarian style wheat beer. Their Its Red, Right, Return has a malty punch.