IMG_0108[1]This spring the Brewers Association announced that the number of breweries/brewpubs open in the United States had broken the 2500 barrier. That’s over 1000 new breweries in the last six years, and there are more to come. So, let’s do a little math on what this means.

First and foremost, it means more good beer for everyone out there. Unfortunately, it also means that more people who don’t really know what they’re doing are also brewing. It happens.

But, mathematically, what does it mean?

Well, most breweries have a common stable of beers. Assuming that all of the breweries out there have a basic, common stable of beers that includes; a stout of porter; a pale ale/IPA; a nut brown; a kolsch; a blond; and at least one rotating seasonal (or some combination of styles totaling at least this many beers), giving each of these brewers, in general, at least six styles that they produce. If you assume that there are a couple out there that are doing only four or five, but many out there doing upwards of a dozen styles, creating an average of roughly ten styles per brewery (honestly, I believe that my assumptions are on the conservative side), then we currently have in excess 25,000 different beers throughout our country to tantalize our taste buds.

And none of that takes into account that the craft beer movement has been sweeping across Europe and South America as well.

The Hopster Holiday

For those of you who are unaware, tomorrow is IPA Day. Celebrate the hoppy beer with a favorite IPA of your choosing…or several. I don’t know about any of the rest of you, but I want to start a campaign to get the day after IPA Day declared a national holiday. It can be part of the same campaign to get the day after St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday.

Now, I know a lot of you out there are thinking, “hey! Why not have the days themselves off so we can celebrate all day?”

Simple; I’m practical. You all can just take those days off. The holidays would be national days of “recovery,” allowing each of us the opportunity to recover from our celebrations in order to be more productive when we all return to the work grind. Just a thought.

Tapped and Uncapped

It’s not necessarily difficult to find yourself a good IPA for IPA Day. You don’t have to look far, there’s plenty here in the Mid-Atlantic; Snake Dog, Lot 6, Oz, Hop Devil, Flying Dog’s Single-hop series, Hellrazer, Loose Cannon Hop3, Corruption…the list goes on. The beers are all wonderful in their own way – complex, hoppy, citrus notes, piney…depending on which you’re drinking…mild, powerful, smooth, a touch harsh. A little something for everyone. But that’s not where I’m going with this week’s recommendation (although you should certainly feel free to grab anyone of those lovely beers).

Instead, this week’s recommendation comes from Long Island in the form of Blue Point Brewing Company’s Hoptical Illusion.

This is a very nice IPA which starts with a nice pop of hops when it hits your mouth. The beer mellows out quickly with a lingering hop characteristic complemented nicely by just a hint of malt sweetness in the finish.

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.