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Craft Beer Revolution Live from Chicago

Craft Beer Revolution Live presents our discussions with brewers across the country about the rise and risk of the craft beer industry. Each city will be posted here on our blog as well as our Soundcloud page. Taste with your ear buds.

My new book is titled THE CRAFT BEER REVOLUTION: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming the World’s Favorite Drink. It is the story of how America came to have 2800 small breweries churning out flavorful ales and lagers in virtually every city the country. Those small breweries collectively have captured more than 10% of the $100 billion US beer market and gotten the attention of the international brewing companies that used to dominate the US market. I will be talking about this revolution with small brewers in 12 cities this year as part of The Brooklyn Brewery Mash, a celebration of food, film, comedy, music, books and beer in those cities. The Chicago Mash included John Hall, founder of Goose Island, Tracy Hurst, co-founder of Metropolitan Brewing, Kevin Cary, owner of Begyle Brewing, and moderator Micheal Kiser of Good Beer Hunting. Each entrepreneur shared stories of the challenge of starting a small business, and then speculated about the future of the craft beer revolution. There are more than 1500 breweries being planned now across the country. How many of those start-ups will succeed? Stay tuned.

The banquet room at very cool Howells & Hood in downtown Chicago was packed for the Brooklyn Mash discussion of THE CRAFT BEER REVOLUTION. I was joined by craft beer pioneer and Goose Island Brewing Co. founder John Hall and Tracy Hurst of Metropolitan Brewing, a six year old lager brewer; Kevin Cary of Begyle Brewing Co. and Tony Russomanno of Local Option, a gypsy brewer.

Hall recalled the early days of Goose Island and the distribution hassles that led him to join the Craft Beer Alliance and turned his distribution over to Anhueser-Busch. He also spoke fondly of the new 130,000 square foot warehouse build to house the largest barrel-aging program in the world. Hurst is self-distributing, but seems to be looking to expand her markets. Cary was a nano-brewer but recently stepped us to a 10-barrel system. Michael Keiser, editor of the popular blog Good Beer Hunting, moderated the session.

Also attending were Ken Henricks of Howells & Hood; Wei Fraser, Ted Champion, Lauren Noce and Matt Behr of Lakeshore Beverage; and our very own Andrew Maxson, Michael Maraghy and Jennifer Breckner.

-Steve Hindy, President and co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery

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