The decade ends, and I’m filled with trepidation as to what will befall the craft beer industry over the next ten years. Small beer has now become big business. Brewpubs are becoming suburban chain concept restaurants, and hype is king.
Does brewing remain a labor of love for mavericks and iconoclasts who share a common vision and a comradeship? Or has the business matured into an overtly competitive numbers game that depends on the end user seeing a clothed emperor? Are the early adopters, the people who fell in love with craft beer, still important, or has distribution made craft beer so ubiquitous that many brewers find it more fiscally attractive to “brew down” to a greater, but less sophisticated, market?
I dunno. Come on, beer moguls, prove me wrong.