Craft Beer

Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in America and the craft beer movement has only continued to grow since the 1970s. A brewery is defined as “craft” if it’s independent of outside corporate ownership, produces fewer than six million barrels each year and uses either traditional or innovative ingredients. There are strong craft brewing cultures across the country, but Portland, Oregon is home to more breweries than any other city. Check out some of our favorite canned craft beers or find the best IPA in your state. Find out everything you need to know about craft beer in F&W’s hoppy guide.

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These Cities Have the Most Breweries Per Capita

Big cities have plenty of breweries, but smaller cities have more brewers per person, according to a report by C+R Research.

5 Groundbreaking Craft Beers Worth Traveling For

Forty years ago, America was at its beer nadir, with the lowest number of breweries since Prohibition: a mere 89. Today, there are more breweries than that in Massachusetts alone.

Inside the Ever-Changing World of Craft Beer Labels

With the craft-beer market showing no signs of slowing down and shelf space at a premium across nearly every aisle, there's no denying how important graphic design is these days. Compelling packaging is so crucial to a brewery's growth, in fact, that the industry's old and new guard seem to be in a steady race of rebranding themselves."A lot of what originally drew drinkers into craft beer was packaging that screamed personality," says Adam Lilly, Goose Island's vice president of marketing. "Now with nearly 7,000 breweries across the country, there’s a lot of personalities screaming at once. It’s hard to focus. Simple aesthetics are more alluring—and premium—now than ever, and help keep focus on what’s in the package rather than what’s on it.""There’s been such an influx of new brands that’s it tough for anyone to stand out," adds Steve McKeown, associate creative director at the ad/marketing agency Brokaw Inc. "You can almost see packaging trends happening in real time on the shelves."Take Highland Brewing, a longtime industry leader that went through a welcome makeover last month is. A pioneer in Asheville's small-but-thriving scene since the mid '90s, its labels used to look like something you'd find in Scotland, right down to their Renaissance Fair-esque font and bagpipe-blowing logo. And while that certainly worked for a while, the company's pub crawl packaging wasn't quite keeping up with the creative strides made by its brewers over the past couple years. With that in mind, owner Leah Ashburn brought Helms Workshop on board to rethink the branding of her family's otherwise thriving businessAnd they’re not the only ones. Everywhere you look, it seems that breweries are turning bottle shops into gallery spaces. Here's the story behind Highland Brewing’s reboot, along with 17 other craft-beer creations that look as good as they taste. 

14 Essential Craft Pilsners

Light. Refreshing. Crisp. Clear. These descriptors are almost synonymous with many of the mass-produced “adjunct” beers that dominated the American beer scene for most of the 20th century—beers like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors. And so, in the world of craft brewing, these adjectives and the beer styles they described were for a long time all but verboten.That’s changing. Independent craft breweries now account for more than 12 percent (and climbing) of all beer sales in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association. And since craft now has a solid grip on a sizeable share of the American beer market, its brewers seem more willing to pursue and perfect some of the lighter, toned-down styles they’d once shunned. Pilsner is one of those styles.Arguably the most popular type of beer in the world, pilsner (sometimes spelled “pilsener”) is a style of lager popularized in Germany and the Czech Republic that features a spicy, often-bitter hop kick. While craft pilsners tend to be light-to-medium-bodied and crisp, that hoppy shot of aroma and flavor elevates them above the Buds and Coors Lights of the world.In a lot of ways, craft pilsners are a kind of microbrew-macrobrew hybrid—combining the easy-drinking qualities of light lagers with the nuance and hoppy charm of craft brews. If you’ve ever found yourself hesitating at the bar—unsure if you’re in the mood for another ultra-bitter pale ale or super-dense porter—the new wave of craft pilsners is for you. (They’re also great with bar food.)Here are 14 excellent brews to try:

More Craft Beer

The Improbable Story of Bangkok’s (Sort of Illegal) Craft Beer Scene

Making and selling microbrews has been illegal in Thailand since 1950. And yet …