Focused on our Inventive Project Offers and research analysis
The focus of our research is on the consumer behavior of craft beer drinkers. We evaluated the microbrew community versus market segmentation. We felt that this was an interesting topic as we are fortunate to live in a state that has 160 established breweries, with more than 80 coming online in the near future. The city of Denver hosts more than a dozen microbreweriesii. The volume of breweries in Colorado and Denver allowed us the opportunity to observe and fully experience the microbrewery culture. We interviewed brewery owners, patrons and enthusiasts and evaluated consumption rituals and the various sub-cultures associated with the microbrewery industry in the state.
The Beer Research Institute was formed over several beers, over several years. Home brewers and longtime friends Matt Trethewey and Greg Sorrels have been conducting Beer Research one pint at a time for the last decade. After successfully home brewing for several years, they decided to bring their craft to the public with the B.R.I. They are both heavily influenced by some of the top breweries in the industry that focus on Belgian Styles and West Coast American Styles. The B.R.I. is a local gathering place where people can share a pint, enjoy food made from scratch and conversation. We take the same pride in our kitchen as we do in our brew house.
Beer styles drawn from various brewing traditions in craft brewing
The Craft Beer Revolution Over the past three decades, the United States has been the international epicenter of brewing innovation, as brewers have explored the range of styles variously known as craft beer, specialty beer or micro-brewed beer. We’ll stick with the first term, but all three generally refer to the seventy or more beer styles outside of the mainstream lager style that dominates the market. In 1981, there were 40 breweries operating in this country. Prohibition early in the century and national consolidation in the years after its repeal had reduced American brewing variety to an all-time low.
American beer drinkers had little exposure to any beers except the dominant pale lager style. It our duty to thank the growing home brewing community, military service overseas, and international travel, some consumers experienced alternatives to mass-marketed lager. Our domestic beer monoculture motivated a few individuals on both coasts to redirect American brewing in a new, exciting direction. Initially, the new brewing businesses, whether microbreweries or brewpubs, specialized in beer styles drawn from the English brewing tradition, still the mainstay of craft brewing. American brewers embraced pale ales and stouts, and even resurrected styles, including porter or barley wine, which had gone extinct in their native land.
Addition of ingredients and varying temperatures in brewing process
The Sumerians had perfected ways to replicate that miraculous process. Simple, because it is made from as few as four ingredients: grain, water, hops and yeast. But beer is also complex. Given those few ingredients, brewers have crafted seventy or more distinct beer styles and thousands of individual interpretations. By varying the amounts or characteristics of the four ingredients, adding new ingredients, or by altering even a little the timing or temperature of the brewing process, master brewers create today’s astounding variety in the beers you drink.
Even in the early days of the American craft beer movement, American brewers were putting their own twist on traditional recipes, adopting new hop varieties, increasing hop rates or alcohol content, and exploring novel ingredients. Within a few years, many American interpretations had diverged enough from the European originals to constitute brand new styles, one source of all the heady diversity we see today. Every year or so, another wave of innovation seemed to overtake the brewing community: English ales were joined by fruited wheat beers, or beers flavored with coffee or honey.
Brewers and drinkers must have a special look at the brewing techniques
A growing affection for more highlyhopped, stronger beers led to the phenomena of double or imperial India pale ales and the sometimes ill-judged attempts to imperialize a wide range of other styles. Brewers also turned for inspiration to the influential brewing traditions of Belgium, and again adopted and adapted styles and techniques in ways that both excite and puzzle. Belgian style beers are now a support in most brewpubs. More recently, brewers and drinkers have taken a fresh look at archaic brewing techniques, including the aging of beer in wooden containers and the deliberate souring of beer. Some of these experiments are thrilling; other style hybrids disappoint. But when we look at the over 1,900 craft breweries operating in the U.S. today, it’s clear that the excitement that greets each new brewery opening is entirely justified.