In the past if you wanted to drink a beer in the United States, you usually got just one type: a water, light colored lager without much flavor. Three American beer companies pretty much had things sewn up as far as beer sales were concerned.
They were Coors out in Colorado, Anheuser Busch in St. Louis, and Miller brewing Company up in Milwaukee. Sure, there were some regional brands that had their loyal following like Old Style in Chicago, and Schlitz. If you really wanted to go cheap and skanky, you could drink Blatz or Stag or Carling Black Label.
But no matter what the price, the beers were all brewed the same and tasted the same: flat and watery. Hen along came a man named Louis Koch. He had a passion for beer and wanted something that tasted more lie some of the foreign beers, hoppy, dark, and full of flavor. But it ws hard to get this type of beer in the United States, so he decided to start brewing his own.
Actually, Jim was no stranger to brewing. According to Wikipedia, the original recipe for Samuel Adams Boston Lager was brewed by one of his forefathers in 1860 in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the fifth generation of Koch and the first to go back in the beer brewing business. In 1984 he began brewing the beer and named it after Samuel Adams, the Boston patriot who also brewed beer. He used the original recipe that his ancestor had used.
It wasn’t long before the big guys blinked. Jim Koch started a trend for craft brewers all over the country to start making beer. Now there are literally hundreds of different craft brews available from small breweries in the United States. Their sales are small compared to the big guys like Miller and Anheuser Busch, but according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, their sales are booming this year.
According to the Post: “Beer sales shot up 36 percent last year at O’Fallon Brewery, a microbrewery located in an industrial park off Interstate 70 in O’Fallon, Mo. And yet, there was disappointment.”
Although the overall beer sales in the United states were down some 2.2% last year the sales of the microbreweries were up 8.8%. I personally gave up drinking the American lagers years ago. I prefer the imported beers and some of our local brewery’s seasonal beers. The local brewer of note in St. Louis is tehSt. Louis Brewing Company, brewers of Schflay beer. So if you like a little flavor in your beer, and you want to stick to an American brew, (after all, Busch is now owned by a foreign group of investors), you might want to try a craft beer. Mighty tasty.