By JACK MONAGHAN
Many college students had the same picture of college in their head prior to them arriving on campus for the first time: hundreds of students surrounding the keg at a party, patiently waiting to consume the liquid gold that is inside. However, the light beer that is popular among college students is bad tasting and hangover inducing.
Keg parties and light beers could now be a thing of the past due to the Craft Beer Boom. Craft beer can be best described as small batches of beer brewed by independent brewers across the U.S.
Since the start of the pandemic the idea of drinking in large groups has gone out the window. The idea of picking up personal craft beers is now more practical than ever before!
Since 2010, the craft beer industry has seen a huge increase. Businesses popped up across the country with one goal in mind: to make beer that tastes great and be proud of the ingredients that they put in it.
Anheuser-Busch had essentially monopolized the beer industry in the U.S. until the 2010s. They produce and sell many of the beers sold in restaurants and gas stations across the country.
There is a reason that they can sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show every year. They make a ton of money and there really isn’t anyone that can compete with them.
Since the start of the Craft Beer Boom, craft beer according to Visual Capitalist has accounted for 24 percent of the sales in the U.S. beer market, racking up $114 Billion in the process.
This is not by chance. It is due to the process behind brewing craft beer.
I was able to get a firsthand look into this process. My brothers work at Maltese Brewing company here in Fredericksburg. They are just one of the many breweries in the area, but many of these brewing establishments share a love of the process of brewing beer.
The time and effort the brewers put into the process is far more personal than anything you would find with Bud Light or Miller. Each batch is essentially an extension of that brewer. They want people to enjoy it more than anything. The personality put into every pour is reason enough to make the switch. There are pineapple flavored IPA’s, Oreo Brownie stouts, and some breweries in the Fredericksburg area even have sours that taste like fruit smoothies.
On top of the selection, these beers are stronger than that of the normal light beer. The average light beer usually caps out at about 4% ABV (alcohol by volume). With craft beer, ABV can range anywhere from 5 to 13 percent. This is important because you don’t have to drink 20 of them to feel the effects and end up feeling bloated and vomiting. Drinking less also decreases the chance of a college student getting alcohol poisoning. You can go to your local brewery and pick up a sealed four pack and be set for the night.
Another great upside of the Craft Beer Boom to the of-age UMW student is we have a local brewery right in Eagle Landing.
Adventure Brewing Company is located right across the bridge and has a great selection of beer or seltzers to choose from.
UMW Senior Adam Warner has frequented Adventure in the past.
Originally from the U.K., Warner said that back home, the beers were all imported and had the same textures and flavors, yet the breweries around here are all unique: no two pints are the same.
“The only upside to normal light beers is the price. The cheap everyday beers will always be appealing to a broke college kid,” said Warner.
As the craft beer industry grows, I hope that they can compete with the prices of Anheuser-Busch to stay competitive in the market, as well as maybe even one day surpass them. I also hope that college students think to give these local establishments a chance to show them the fantastic products that they have created.
The change in culture around college campuses could really be the difference moving forward. Moving out of the age of drinking to get drunk and into the age of enjoying what you’re drinking has the potential to remove the stigmas surrounding college kids and partying.
Craft beer has all the potential in the world to take a hold over the drinking scene on college campuses. Especially with the change in culture that the pandemic has brought. Gigantic parties are a thing of the past and people who still want to be social drinkers will have to adapt moving forward.