• The Who’s Who of Beer Cool

    by Courtney Iseman / Punch Drink / April 4, 2024

    The country’s top brewers, beer writers and buyers weigh in on the 10 breweries to know right now.

    Last year, we updated a 2020 “who’s who of beer cool” roundup, noting how fast the industry had changed in just three years, from pandemic-influenced consumer behavior to relentless brewery openings to fleeting style trends. It’s a painfully dated trope, but the craft beer industry of 2023 really seemed to then say, “Hold my beer.” In 2024, we’re looking at quite a different scene.

    In 2023, craft beer realized it couldn’t just grow forever. Draft sales that have refused to recover post-pandemic, an oversaturated marketplace, changing consumer preferences—these have become familiar refrains when making sense of production dips and brewery closures. Doom journalism declaring craft beer’s end of days has become common, and mergers and acquisitions alongside the loss of iconic brands like Anchor Brewing haven’t helped to lighten the mood. 

    Craft beer, however, is far from dead. It’s an industry shifting from being novel to being just another industry. And as long tenures become less guaranteed for breweries, many are innovating more than ever. There are breweries streamlining their lineups to highlight just a few styles and offer education around them, alongside breweries going in the opposite direction, making some of the other in-demand categories like hop water, nonalcoholic beer, hard seltzer, hard tea and ready-to-drink cocktails. The industry’s demographics are also diversifying (if slowly), with more breweries founded by members of underrepresented communities. Even without unchecked growth, it’s still an exciting time in craft beer. In light of that, we’re keeping a few breweries from last year’s list right here, as they continue to lead the charge, and adding some fresh contenders worth paying attention to right now.

    Dovetail Brewery | Chicago...  Read more HERE



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