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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Important Brews to the Craft Beer Scene

In the U.S. craft beer sales by volume went from 5.7% of the beer market in 2011 to 12.3% in 2016 -- five short years later. In dollars craft beer is now 22% of the market.

It all started in Sonoma County with the first microbrewery in the country, New Albion Brewery (see previous post on Sonoma County's beer history).

Some of the most important beers have come from the Bay Area, including Sonoma County.

Anchor Steam, San Francisco - Fritz Maytag

A style of lager first brewed in 1896. It's called California Common as the "steam beer" name is owned by Anchor. The brewery was bought by Fritz Maytag (as in Maytag washing machines) in 1965 with his first modern bottling in 1971. Maytag is considered the father of the modern craft beer industry by some though the term craft beer hadn't been "invented" yet. In those earlier days Anchor's Steam Beer was thought of as a domestic alternative to the best from Europe.

Lagunitas IPA, Petaluma - Tony McGee

Founded in 1993 by McGee Lagunitas Brewing is known for their in-your-face styles of beer and irreverent labels. Their IPA is one of the best known craft beers in the country. They've gone through rapid expansion and Tony sold half of the business to Heineken to help pay for further expansion plans.

Update on Lagunitas sale.

Russian River Brewery Pliny the Elder, Santa Rosa - Vinnie Cilurzo

Vinny has many famous beers, but his double IPA, Pliny the Elder, is what really put his brewery on the world map. It's been rated as a 100 point beer or even called the best beer in the world.
Vinnie is the father of IPAs in America and is credited with brewing the first commercial double IPA. But you can't mention RRBC without talking about the triple IPA, Pliny the Younger, which draws people from all over the world during its annual two week release. 

And for a little reinforcement of the importance: Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA is #1