Can you have too much of a good thing? Maybe.....??? We will see. According to "The Brewers Association", 2011 was a great year for brewery openings in America. This year, 50 brewery's in over 20 states have opened, most in the last few months.Is this good for the beer industry, or not? Depends who you talk to, and here is my take....
2011, a good year, or bad year for beer?
While options are always good to have, sometimes having too many can in fact be a bad thing. Growing up, we had 4 (and later 5) channels to choose to watch TV from. We always had something to watch. At home now, I have over 250 channels, and I can't tell you how often I can't find anything to watch. This may or may not be apples and oranges, I'll admit.
Too much beer?
Admittedly, having so many brewery's opening, some, many in fact, are doomed to fail. We won't see all 50 of these brewery's 10 years from now, most will be shuttered or bought up within the next 5 in fact.
The bad side of this, having so many to choose from, there is no way to try them all. Which isn't always a bad thing, it does mean you may miss a few great beers, and maybe even mean a few great beers, my go unnoticed. This is one argument I've heard about why all these are openings are a bad thing. I don't buy this since we can't miss what we never new we had, so this really won't effect us at all. Its sad that we may miss out on a great beer, but since we will never know it, its a none issue.
The good news, it does mean, in order for the new brewery's to succeed, and even the older already established breweries, they will have to maintain their quality, and even keep pushing the envelope and trying new things. Look at the brewery's that like to experiment. I always think of Shorts Brewing, in Bellaire, Mich. A great little brew pub in Northern Michigan. At any one time, there are upwards of 2 dozen beers to choose from that they make. With flavors ranging from banana, s'more (yes, thats what I said) peaches and creame, Key Lime, PB & J, among others, you are bound to find something you like, maybe love, and yes, even hate. Making a lot of beer doesn't mean they will all be good, but it certianly makes the odd's of finding one you will love a lot more likely.
So, look at this list (click here) of new new breweries, find one near you, and give it a shot. You might find something uniquie, and even great. Plus, its always good to support local businesses, don't you think?