United States of Craft Beer: Celebrate Independents Day

By Andy Sparhawk

It’s a revolution! More and more Americans are declaring independents. No, that’s not a typo. The craft beer produced by America’s independent brewers will be well represented during many Fourth of July celebrations. While still only a fraction of the overall American beer market (6.5% by volume and 10.2% by dollars as of 2012), the craft beer phenomenon cannot be ignored. The revolution for beer variety, flavor, choice and authenticity is upon us. Here are three reasons to seek out small and independent craft brewed beers this Independents Day.

1. 2,500 Breweries

There has never been a better time for craft beer in America than right now! In June, the Brewers Association’s (BA) director Paul Gatza announced on the BA blog that the total U.S. brewery count had exceeded 2,500 breweries (a majority of which are craft brewers). These brewery businesses support their local communities, employing thousands in every state in America. This Fourth of July, celebrate by enjoying one of your favorite craft beers from a local, regional or national craft brewer.

2. Homebrewing Legalized In All 50 States

Is there anything more American than a do-it-yourself attitude? According to the American Homebrewers Association, as of July 1, 2013, homebrewing is legal in all 50 states. Homebrewing has made an undeniable mark on the craft beer movement, as many of America’s craft brewers got their start by brewing beer at home. So exercise your right to brew this Independence Day and learn to homebrew!

3. Craft Beer and American Food: The Perfect Com-Patriots

What would your July Fourth festivities be without family, friends and food! And what beverage goes best with all of those things? Too easy, right? If you need some inspiration on what to serve at your holiday BBQ, don’t overlook the 180+ recipes in the CraftBeer.com recipe section that use craft beer as an ingredient. We guarantee you’ll find something delicious to accompany your spread of summertime beers.


Andy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association's craft beer program coordinator, is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Arvada, Colorado where he is a homebrewer and avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on CraftBeer.com.

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