Microbrews - Handcrafted Beers Made in Local Breweries

The terms microbrews and microbrewery originated in the United Kingdom during the 1970s. Although the terms were originally used to reflect the size of the breweries, they gradually came to reflect a different attitude and approach to adaptability, flexibility, experimentation, and customer service. Microbrews were, in effect, handcrafted beers made in local breweries. The term eventually spread to the United States, where it was eventually used to indicate a brewery that produces no less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year. The term microbrewery is now falling out of favor in the United States, as the term craft brewer is preferred.

During the early twentieth century, prohibition drove a majority of the breweries into bankruptcy because they could not rely on selling bogus wine as wineries of that era previously did. After going through several decades of consolidation of breweries, most commercial American beer was produced by a few large companies, resulting in a mild tasting lager of which Budweiser is a great example.

Some beer drinkers will consequently crave a variety and turn to homebrewing and eventually start doing it on a much larger scale. When they need inspiration they can turn to Britain, Germany, and Belgium where centuries old tradition of artisan beer and cask ale production have never died out.

The popularity behind these products was the fact that the trend spread quickly and hundreds of smaller breweries popped up, attached to a bar where the product could be enjoyed by all. As microbrews gained in popularity, some became more than just simple microbrews, as they catered to a broader range of beer.

Brewed on every continent and enjoyed in every nation, beer can quench every type of thirst and go down as easily as an iced spring water on a summers day.

Just as the gourmet blends have conquered a large portion of the coffee business, handcrafted brews continue to keep a firm hold on the most serious of beer drinkers. There are hundreds of thousands of brews out there, which are sure to please even the most discerning beer drinker.

When it comes to the gourmet types of microbrews, there are some things to bear in mind. If you are new to microbrews and especially the gourmet types, you will find the following tips useful.

Start Light

When you go to a pub or just out to drink, you should start off light with a basic lager, pilsner, or wheat beer. After that, you can work your way towards the full flavored beers, such as porters and Oktoberfest beers. These can be very potent, especially for those who do not normally drink that much. Starting light is also good for your overall tolerance, as drinking light will prepare you for the more potent drinks. This way, you can enjoy plenty of microbrews without having to worry about stopping too early.


The ideal way to try new types of beer is to pay a visit to a local brewpub. Many of these small brewery/restaurants will offer samplers, which feature small glasses with four to five of their most popular beers. This way, you can experience a variety of beer tastes without having to spend a lot of money. Once you have tried a couple of the beers, you will know what to order.

Dark Beers

If you are a casual beer drinker or can handle your tolerance, you should not be afraid to try dark beers. The dark color does not mean that the beer is heavier or contains more calories, it simply means that the malt in the beer is roasted longer or roasted to a more darker color than most.

Small Business

Small businesses and small businessmen are yet another reason to get into microbrews other than the taste. Local microbrew producers brew their beers in small batches, so you will be helping to keep the business afloat, rather than supporting the large giants of the industry. When you know that your money is going to help the little people, you will normally find the brew to go down much smoother. Small microbreweries need all the help they can get to continue brewing, which is reason enough to support them. You will get a great beer for your money - and you will be supporting those that actually need your help.