All of a sudden you find Craft Beers All over the Place, are they worth the Extra Cost?

edBy: Edwin L. Crammer CPA –  It used to be you would go out to a nice restaurant and when you looked over the selection of beverages that were offered for sale under section labeled, Beers or Draft Products, you would see a selection of familiar brands put out by the major breweries. There would be a section marked domestic which featured products by companies like Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Company etc. Under the imported section you could find products such as Heineken, Becks, Stella Artois etc. Some of the better restaurants featured products from Samuel Adams which in essence was supposed to represent a product from a smaller company that could be considered the craft beer of its time.

That was it. You chose your favorite from the list offered and as a choice some of the products were offered as draft beer that was poured from a tap that was attached to a large barrel that was supposed to taste in most cases better than the bottled or canned beer.

Then about twenty five years ago, microbreweries popped on the scene, these were establishments that were for the most part restaurant that promised you that they were also miniature in house breweries that manufactured about a half dozen varieties of beer in small batches right on premises. When you entered these restaurants you would see in one corner of the place large barrels which were supposed to contain the product that they claimed to brew.

They also offered a selection of the name brand products that I mentioned earlier. The micro brews that they served were all draft products as I said were supposed to be brewed in house.  These micro brews of course were higher in price than the standard product and they all had odd names. I have no idea if these products were not actually brewed in these restaurants nor do I care as this article is not about that. As craft beers consumption became popular, micro-brewery establishments have all but disappeared

Then about five years ago, something strange began to happen. It started in the stores that sold beer for consumption off premises, mainly wine and liquor stores that beer products with strange not familiar names started to appear on their shelves. Articles appeared in some of the local newspapers and magazines about these new products that were being manufactured by local brewers that were not connected to the big guys.  These products were called Craft Beers. Suddenly craft breweries were popping up all over the place.

It did not take long for the restaurant trade to recognize a new product that could be sold at a decent mark up by featuring Craft beers from local sources. It started with the better restaurants the four and five star establishments I am talking about, but it quickly spread to the chain restaurants as well. It seems that every restaurant you go into nowadays has a selection of Craft Beers on their menu. The menu listing after each item describes in detail the make-up and supposed taste of the product that distinguishes it from all of it other offerings.

craft beerWhat actually is a craft beer anyway? A craft beer brewer is one who produces less than six million barrels of beer a year. A craft brewer is one who operates his or her business independently from those major brewers that we all know about.

In addition, a craft brewer brews his beer products from flavors that derive from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their respective fermentation.  Flavored malt cannot be utilized in the brewing process. One who enjoys the pleasure of a craft beer is not one who binges on drinking six packs or two over a short period time. To enjoy a craft brew you need to savor it in moderation, just like the pleasure of smoking a fine vintage cigar is to the cigar connoisseur

Coupling the enjoyment of a craft beer with a favorite meal in a fine restaurant can be a highly enjoyable exhilarating experience.

Whatever, you think about the craft beer revolution, it will be around for a long time. Currently there are over 3,000 craft brewers operating throughout of the country. The product they produce and offer are unique and often cater to the tastes of the particular area they are located in.  Some of these firms will disappear over time as it is difficult to make it long term in business for a small business especially when there is a lot of competition, but as some fail, others will take their place as that is how things happen in this country.

So sit back and enjoy and if you would rather have the traditional brews so be it as they also will be around for a long time to come.

Post script:  During the last few months as the battle for the White House started out with bickering and fighting first among the candidates of the respective parties and now moving to the battle between the two parties after the conventions are over, you have heard cries from various competitors for Donald Trump to release his tax returns. The latest cry has come from Elizabeth Warren in advertisements touting Hillary.

What I have not heard from anyone in the Republican Party even from Donald Trump himself is why the Clinton’s do not release copies of the 990s they have filed on behalf of the Clinton Foundation. For those of you who do not know what a 990 is, it is a tax return filed on behalf of a Not-For Profit Organization.  This type of tax return shows the total revenue earned during the year the source and purpose of that revenue, the use of that revenue for charitable purposes, administration costs and the percent of those administration costs relevant to the revenue earned and best of all how much was paid to the directors by name for managing the organization.

These types of tax returns are a public record and do not need permission for them to be released to the public. It even states on page 1 that this tax return is subject to public inspection.  We should be able to learn a lot from reviewing these tax returns.

What do you think?

You may contact Edwin L. Crammer at;

All of a sudden you find Craft Beers all over the place

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