Alcohol consumption has historically been a contentious issue in the United States but nowadays home-brewing is increasingly a big business.
Thousands of beer enthusiasts gathered in Philadelphia this week for the 35th annual National Homebrewers Conference to talk shop in various seminars such as “practical malting” – and down a few brews over a couple of days.
Gina Hyndman from Keg & Barrel Home Brew Supply explained what makes it so accessible: “It is all made from scratch in the comfort of your own home. Our customers are come in to Keg & Barrel to buy fresh ingredients, fresh hops, malt, yeast.”
For some brewing beer is just a hobby, but others are turning their love into a serious business. Last year, the industry was worth an estimated nine billion euros, a figure that is expected to rise to 14 billion by 2017.
Euronews spoke to Nathan Zeender and Thor Cheston, two men who have decided to make the most of their microbrewery efforts. The pair are opening a local brew pub in Philadelphia which they say gives people a real taste of something different.
“It’s just us, so there is going to be a real touch of care and authenticity to it, nothing cookie-cutter..yet,” said Cheston.
Our correspondent Stefan Grobe said: “As Benjamin Franklin said, beer is proof that God loves us. And American presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama have dabbled in the brewing business. Brewing is crisis-resistant, stimulates the economy and – for Americans – is an expression of independence.”