Why Support Your Local Craft Brewery?
Many craft breweries in Canada started out as Mom and Pop operations, and today quite a few have remained that way. These small breweries have gone through many growing pains to get to the point where they were finally able to produce and sell a craft beer for all to enjoy. Many of them started out the same way you and I have, wanting to create our own beer to enjoy. Sometimes we get over ambitious and things get out of hand, more equipment, brewing more often, compliments on our homebrew and the next is history.
I have heard it said that craft beer is just too expensive, here are a few reasons for the slight price difference. As many of you are probably aware, trying to get tap space at franchise restaurants or shelf space at your local beer or liquor stores is extremely difficult and expensive, so that is one reason why the price of craft beer may be slightly more than the big brewery brands. Another reason for the higher price is, that being a smaller operation they must buy their ingredients in small quantities and at a higher price in order to retain that fresh taste.
If you visit a local craft brewery there is usually a story behind its beginning. The best part, the owner is usually not too far away from all the action, so they will probably be more than happy to come and speak with you and tell you how they got started. Craft brewers are passionate about their beer and tend to keep a very close eye on every batch they produce and bottle/keg. Many craft brewery owners are also the ones that transport their beer to its final destination.
Due to the amount of craft breweries in Canada there is an abundance of different flavours and ABV levels. Each brewery will have its own recipes and techniques that they use, plus many of the names of these brews are very creative. I have also noticed that a number of small craft breweries are now opening up their own bars and restaurant, and they do appear to be thriving.
Another great reason to visit and support your local craft brewers is that they tend to produce more seasonal beers. Due to the fact that they are not mass producing their beer they are able to create different mouth watering offerings throughout the year. Think of light citrus summer ales, pumpkin porters in the fall, cream ales by the fire during the winter months and Maibock styles for spring.
Locally in Southern Ontario some of our craft breweries are having paint and yoga nights, pairing with local restaurants so that they may offer samples of their brews and there are even tours that take you to different breweries in the area. If you know of any special happenings in your area leave us a comment and we would be happy to give them a shout out from our facebook and twitter pages.
So why support your local craft brewery? There are probably as many reasons as there are flavours - but most of all you are helping to support a local family and their employees, which in turn puts money back into your community.
As I said earlier, many craft breweries are small family run businesses. Don't be fooled though, some of the big breweries have purchased some of these Canadian Mom and Pop operations with the buying public unaware that they are now supporting the big guys. As of the date of me writing this blog (April 2017) I found 10 of what were originally small locally owned craft breweries that have been bought by some of the larger brewing companies from around the world. If you are interested in finding out if you're buying from one of these 'craft breweries' you can check out this article by FoodNetwork.ca