Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Rob and Kevin should be ashamed of themselves: The real reason it’s a wonderful time to be an American consumer has nothing to do with electronic media, drive-sharing, or any fancy-shmacy new technology. Via the Washington Post, this is the the best news about entrepreneurialism in America you’ll read all day:
As of Dec. 1, 2015, the Brewers Association had counted 4,144 breweries in the United States, the most ever operating simultaneously in the history of the country. According to historians, the previous high-water mark of 4,131 was set in 1873. The new number includes giant Budweiser, artisan Dogfish Head and your neighborhood brewpub. Although beer industry observers have known this day was coming, the pace of growth was explosive: At the end of 2011, there were 2,033 breweries, or fewer than half as many as now. In 2005, there were only 1,447. And 25 years ago? The Brewers Association, a trade group for small and independent breweries, logged a mere 284 in 1990.
The news isn’t all good, though. Rapid expansions are often followed by equally massive contractions, and it’s (unsurprisingly) becoming a harder for each additional brewery to gain a foothold:
On the other hand, the expanding market — at least two breweries open every day — has created a new set of problems for brewers. New arrivals, riding the craft beer wave, are finding it difficult to stand out. And it’s not as if bars have doubled the number of their taps in the past five years. So not only do the new breweries need to squeeze past their rivals even to make it in front of consumers, but they might need to convince bars that they’re more deserving of a chance than better-known beers from Lagunitas or Great Lakes.
But what’s bad from the producers’ standpoint is often to the benefit of the consumer. And though it’s still morning for most of us, it’s never too early to share recommendations.
So, Ricochet, here’s your challenge: If someone’s visiting from out of town and wants to try something local that they likely can’t find back at home, what would you fill their glass with?