There’s beer… and then there’s Craft Beer.
And, while some lesser informed individuals might shrug off such a seemingly insignificant distinction, anyone who enjoys and appreciates a fine brew will agree. However, do you know what makes Craft Beer a beverage in a class all its own?
Craft Beer is Beer with an Emphasis on the ‘Craft’
Before the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1919, which resulted in what was known as Prohibition, beer in America was almost solely brewed by local establishments and small, regional breweries. After the repeal of Prohibition, the brewing industry consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries. And many of the large breweries that resumed the production of beer after Prohibition still retain their dominance of the market today. Yet, the “Big Beer” industry, if it could be called that, is dominated by just a handful of well-known brands:
- Anheuser-Busch Inc Louis, MO
- MolsonCoors Chicago, IL
- Constellation Chicago, IL
- Heineken USA White Plains, NY
- Pabst Brewing Co Los Angeles, CA
However, the most exciting tectonic shift in the brewing industry over the last few decades has been the growth and rising popularity of craft beers. So, if “Big Beer” brews beer but not craft beer, then what’s the difference?
According to Brewer’s Association,
“An American craft brewer is a small and independent brewer.
Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships.
Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.”
Consequently, craft beer is the product of a craft brewery.
And here are a few distinguishing concepts related to craft breweries and craft beer:
- The hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.
- Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often distinctively added.
- Craft brewers maintain the integrity of what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer.
Oh, and the majority of Americans live within ten miles of a craft brewer. And this is especially true in California!
Cal Mart – Your Local Source for the Best in Regional and Local Craft Beer
There is no need to type in “craft beer store near me” when you can simply make your way to Cal Mart. We’re your local craft beer store featuring an expansive (and expanding!) selection of craft beers from around the country – and the county. We’ve explored craft beer in-depth here in previous articles, but suffice it to say that Napa and Sonoma Counties are home to some of the original craft beer brewers and continue to offer some of the best craft beers on the market today. And, at Cal Mart, we are proud to offer an abundantly broad selection of craft beers from the state’s best craft breweries.
When it comes to our craft beer choices, we go out of our way to acquire as many seasonal brews as we can, as well as a wide variety of styles. And our craft beer purveyors are quality microbreweries originating from all over the country and throughout the West Coast and California, in particular. We are proud to be able to stock some of the greatest local choices out of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties, as well as many rare and hard-to-get brews. In addition to finding new and intriguing craft beer offerings for yourself or your next party or get-together, you can pick up a variety of craft beer gifts such as craft beer glasses and new or seasonal brews from the Cal Mart craft beer selection.
Explore Our Extensive Cal Mart Craft Beer Selection
Cal Mart has been one of Calistoga’s best-loved, family-owned, and independent grocery stores for over half a century now. And over the course of those five decades or so, our customers have always enjoyed a unique shopping experience with us – and they continue to do so today! And this is one of the reasons we are known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.” At Cal Mart, we believe that our love for what we do and our commitment to serving our customers make Cal Mart a favorite Napa Valley shopping destination.
We are in the center of charming downtown Calistoga, conveniently situated between Napa Valley’s well-traveled Silverado Trail and State Route 128. Today, Cal Mart has become a favorite stop for our residents and the many visitors who come to our corner of the wine country.
Cal Mart proudly features a great delicatessen, an irresistible selection of specialty foods items that are unique and hard to find, a gourmet cheese department, as well as quality fine wines. And, of course, there are also our great selections of the best California craft beers and traditional beers from the large breweries.
Are you ooking for that special something to give to a friend or loved one? We offer beautiful gift basket options, and a thoughtful selection of craft beer gifts can be a perfect choice. In addition, we have a fresh selection of flowers and plants for any occasion.
And much, much more!
So, we invite you to make Cal Mart your next stop in Calistoga and take time to explore all that we have to offer.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our knowledgeable staff and then treat yourself to one of our perfect winter coffee or tea drinks at our coffee bar featuring Taylor Lane Coffee and Tea.