Three cities in Maryland recently named October “Shore Craft Beer and Hard Cider Month.” One of them in Ocean City, also hosted a Shore Craft Beer Festival, which took place Oct. 24 and featured local brewers, according to the Caroline Times Record. This isn’t the only city celebrating craft beer; many cities across the country host festivals to honor the trendy beer segment. Several TV shows feature craft brewers, and craft brands also are making national headlines. Major events like the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association’s (BA) Great American Beer Festival also highlight the segment. This year, the 34th annual event took place Sept. 24-26 in Denver and featured 90,000 square feet dedicated to its tasting hall to accommodate 60,000 attendees with the opportunity to sample more than 3,500 beers from 750 breweries.
It appears that this segment of the beer market, once only a niche market, has grown to become a cultural phenomenon in the United States. For some consumers, craft beer is not just a trend, but part of their daily lives. “Craft is more than a beer segment; it is a cultural movement in American society,” said Jeff Nowicki, chief strategy officer at Bump Williams Consulting (BWC), Stratford, Conn., in Beverage Industry’s March 2015 Beer Report.