“The climate of California made it ready for the growth of craft brewing”

As the first years of craft brewing progressed, there was little reason to think that these small little breweries on the Pacific coast would do more than produce a niche product for an extremely small consumer base. But today, any consumer walking down the beer aisle of their local market will see the long term effects of these first agents of change. Even the corporate macrobreweries produce wheat-ales, IPAs, and stouts, for the market now demands diversity. Historic brewing centers may have once had more than just a small selection of similar lagers, but California’s breweries first pushed the wave of new brewing from West to East. The climate of California made it ready for the growth of craft brewing. Authenticity, like the term ‘craft,’ is a nebulous term. It can mean many different things or nothing at all dependent on the context in which it is used. But the authenticity of early craft brewing in California was born on the backs of brewing pioneers who were in the right place and time; the Golden State in the 1960s and 70s.

Eric Ortega, “The Golden State of Brewing; California’s Economic and Cultural Influence in the American Brewing Industry” (Master’s thesis, California State University, Fullerton, 2015), 76.