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Micro Breweries Essay, Research Paper

Gillooly 1

Brian Gillooly


English 1a

29 April 1999

Micro Breweries

Micro brews have taken America by storm lately. Their popularity has increased dramatically in the past few years. While their overall production of beer is far less than that of the macro brew beers, their popularity has more than doubled in the past few years. Domestic beers still control the beer market due to the fact they are about 98% of the beer business. Macro breweries produce and sell so many more beers than micro breweries but, at most stores that sell beer, micro beers average about 40% of the beers on the shelves. While domestic beers have more ability to control the beer market and are more well known, micro brews are favored by taste by consumers, the micro breweries put more care into making the beer, and almost every brewery makes a variety of styles of beer.

A major disadvantage of being a micro brewery is that the domestic beers have a much better ability to control the beer market. ? The justice department has alleged that Anheuser-Busch Cos. here has caused distributors to drop smaller brands and micro brews in favor of its product.? (Richard Turesik 1) Due to the fact that Macro beers (domestic beers) are about 98% of the beer market, they get to control the beer market. There was accusations a few years back that Anheuser Busch threatened to stop distributing their beer to stores unless they stopped selling micro brews. Of course Anheuser Busch denied the entire thing, but an investigation did take place on the matter.

Another disadvantage for microbreweries is how well each brewery is known. Everyone has heard of the big macro breweries such as Budweiser, Anheuser Busch, Miller, and Coors. There are many more macrobrews out there and all of them are pretty well known. It is a lot harder for a micro brew to be well known when they are in competition with hundreds of other micro brews. Many people when they buy

Gillooly 2

beer just buy beer that they consider to be popular. The beer they consider popular are the only beers they

have heard of, these beers almost always turn out to be macro brews. Macro brews are so much more well known because of their commercials and other advertising methods. So, for micro brews to be sold they have to have special ways of advertising.

Advertising styles are very different between micro brews and domestics. Domestic breweries advertise on TV and just try to get the name of their beer out to the public. Since microbreweries can?t afford to advertise on TV a lot, they try and catch a beer consumers eye with a catchy name, or a nice looking logo on their bottles or boxes. Commercials for macro brew usually just consist of a few shots of their product around a bunch of people dancing. Most of the commercials also consist of women wearing skimpy outfits to catch the eye of the male viewers watching there commercial. The few micro beer commercials I have seen always advertised the quality of their ingredients and what types of beer the produce. One of my favorite Micro brew commercials is a Guinness stout commercial. All they show on the commercial is some one pouring the beer, then the beer settling into the glass. No gimmicks or trick advertisement, they just show the quality of their beer.

What is a micro brew? Well a micro brew is a beer that is produced in small quantities compared to the macro brews. By small quantities I mean up to 60,000 barrels a year. Each barrel makes about 150 six packs. Most micro breweries produce a variety of there type of beer. Common types of beer made by microbreweries are pale ales: these are usually a light color and moderately bitter. Amber ale: amber ale is a reddish color beer, usually as a richer stronger beer taste. Stout is another common style of beer among microbreweries. A stout is a darker thicker beer, full in flavor and very smooth. The most favorite stout is Guinness, a very thick, strong, dark, and it tastes very good.. Also, many microbreweries have a style of beer that is brewed with a special ingredients. Some times these ingredients are oatmeal, honey, wheat, strawberries, raspberry, apricot, or boysenberry.

Gillooly 3

According to many people that I asked, micro brews taste considerably better than domestic beers. The reason that micro beers taste better is that there is almost always a micro beer that one can find that is to there liking. Macro beers don?t have many flavor varieties. Each and every Microbrewery makes different tasting beers. On average most microbreweries have between two and three different styles of beer they produce. As always there are breweries that don?t fit in that average. Some microbreweries may only produce one beer, while I know some microbreweries such as Rogue and Petes Wicked ale that produce six different styles of beer. Another reason you can tell that Micro beers are going for the best taste is that almost all micro beers come in bottles, not cans. There are some exceptions, Guinness one of the most popular and expensive micro brews, does come in a can. But Guinness and a few others like Guinness come in a can that contains something called the draught system. The draught system contains a small gadget called a widget that is inside the can. The widget is a small piece of plastic with a minute hole in it. The widget gets filled with the beer and that beer is stored until opening. When opened the widget releases the beer forming thousands of tiny bubbles. The bubbles form on top of the beer and form a thick creamy head. Beers which use the draught system are the only beers that actually have a good tasting head. It makes the beer unique and is usually found in thicker fuller beers.

Micro breweries seem to put a lot more care and personal pride into their beer. All of the micro beers together only make up between one and two percent of the beer market. This means that each individual micro brewery has to make their beer taste different from all others. They do this by adding in either different ingredients or different amounts of the same ingredients. Microbreweries use the highest quality ingredients in order to make the best tasting beer possible. They also keep the brewery in the family. Many micro brews that are popular have been around for decades. These breweries always kept the business in the family. They have so much pride in there beer that they take pride in passing it down to the next generation

Gillooly 4

in their family. I read the history of Red Hook, Guinness, Samuel Adams, and Pyramid breweries

and they have all been businesses that were passed down through the family

Although many people buy macro brews, the majority of the beer drinking population prefers the taste of macrobrews. Even though microbreweries have control of the advertising of beer, many people still prefer the taste of microbrews. Although many people believe that macrobreweries take the same care in

producing beer as microbreweries, microbreweries by far spend more time on each beer, and take more pride in their final product. I feel that everybody should be educated abouth the beer that they drink, and savor the great taste of the microbreweries.


Gillooly 5

Turesik, Richard. ?Micro beer still flooding supermarket shelves.? Supermarket News 3 Nov.

1997: 53

Scarpa, James. ?Tap dancing.? Restaurant Business. 1 March.

1997 105-106

Kelley, Kristine. ?Crafty brewers grow their micro share in a macro market.? Beverage Industry Nov. 1993 10-11

?Beer Wise?, ?Landscape of Beers? and ?My Craft Brews?. Pete?s Wicked Home page.

Date unknown, http://www.peteswicked.com/nn_fs.html

?History of Guinness.? ?3 Types.? ?Widget Info.? Guinness Home page. Date unknown http://www.guinness.com/rpop.htm

?World Beer Styles and Beer Family Tree.? ?Beer Ingredients

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