Krafty Craft Beer

Don’t call it a trend: Craft beer’s popularity growing

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Don’t call it a trend: Craft beer’s popularity growing

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Don't call it a trend: Craft beer's popularity growing

South Bend resident David Divine sips on a pint of Rye Stout on Dec. 26 at South Bend Brew Werks, a downtown brewpub at 216 S. Michigan St. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN But don’t call it a trend.

”One of my pet peeves is when craft beer is called a trend,” said Chris Stuck, the craft-beer consultant for Chalet Party Shoppe stores in Elkhart County. “Craft beer has been around as long as beer has been around. Craft beer was the original beer.”

So, maybe it should be called a comeback instead.

Back in the 1870s, the United States had more than 4,000 breweries, according to the Brewers Association, a national organization based in Colorado. Then refrigeration, Prohibition and consolidation changed the industry. As a result, fewer than 100 breweries were operating nationwide by 1984.

Now there are almost 100 breweries in Indiana and more than 3,000 nationwide. They’re making beers in small batches and showing how many different flavors can be concocted from water, malted barley, yeast and hops.

Those numbers are why Stuck has his enviable job title. He coordinates craft-beer orders for the Chalet stores, communicates with brewery representatives and keeps an eye on the industry’s movements.”It’s a challenge at the store to fit […]

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