Is craft beer trending?

Saisons%2C+IPA%27s+and+barrel+aged+beers+are+what+is+trending+right+now+in+the+craft+beer+world.+Photo+credit%3A+Michelle+Moran
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Is craft beer trending?

Saisons, IPA's and barrel aged beers are what is trending right now in the craft beer world. Photo credit: Michelle Moran

Saisons, IPA's and barrel aged beers are what is trending right now in the craft beer world. Photo credit: Michelle Moran

Saisons, IPA's and barrel aged beers are what is trending right now in the craft beer world. Photo credit: Michelle Moran

Saisons, IPA's and barrel aged beers are what is trending right now in the craft beer world. Photo credit: Michelle Moran

James Fike

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Beer, a concoction that can be traced back to the times of early Mesopotamia, is something that is always changing and evolving. The categories and variations of beer seem to be endless, especially with the recent craft beer craze.

What constitutes a beer being “craft” is the brewer, not the style of the beer. According to the Brewer’s Association in Colorado, a craft beer is made by a brewer that is small, independent and traditional.

To be considered a craft brewery, the brewer must meet these qualifications:

  • sells an average of six million barrels a year or less
  • has less than 25 percent of the brewery owned by a member of the alcoholic beverage industry who is not a craft brewer
  • produces mainly beer whose flavor comes from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.

Out of the $100 million spent on beer in America, only about 15 percent accounts for craft beer sales, according to the Brewers Association.

The most popular beer is Bud Light, which accounts for nearly one out of every four beers sold, according to Joshua Malin at Vinepair.com.

Not one craft beer is listed in the top 20 beers in the U.S., and that’s because craft beer is still considered a niche drink. Craft brews are generally more pungent, harder to drink and, most importantly, more expensive. You will definitely be able to find smoother and more mild flavored craft beers, but the higher price will be the same.

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Highland Park Brewery has a lot of trendy beers to offer and you can choose any four to create your own beer flight. Photo credit: Michelle Moran

Several students around CSUN’s campus said they didn’t share the love for the aromatic brews.

When it came to picking a specific light beer, most students couldn’t really specify what their favorite was.

“Most light beers taste like p—,” said Jared Cape, a senior at CSUN.

Another student, Hunter Sasso, said, “I just want a beer I can sip on all day.”

This is where session beers come into play. A session beer is essentially a beer that has a low alcohol content as well as a lighter flavor. Most light beers would be considered session beers.

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Modern Times Brewery in San Diego are always brewing trendy beers like sours, saisons and IPAs. Photo credit: Michelle Moran

One of the most popular styles of session beers are Session IPAs, or Indian Pale Ales. For people who like the bite of the hop but enjoy a lower alcohol content, these may be the beers for you. A recommendation for Session IPAs would be Lagunita’s Day Time Ale, coming in with a 4.2 percent ABV and finishing with a hoppy aftertaste.

If you ever wanted a barrel-aged session stout, then Velvet Merkin by Firestone Walker would be the beer for you.

Another style of craft beer that is popular are sour beers. These beers are gaining in popularity, according to Thrillist.com. These beers are infused with fruits and might make you wince from the tartness depending on what you’re in to. These brews are somewhat hard to find and you might have to go to a Bevmo or specialty beer store to find these.

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Saison beers are becoming popular among many breweries in southern California. Highland Park Brewery, Highland Park. Photo credit: Michelle Moran

Farmhouse ales, or Saisons, are a peculiar yet popular brew. The existence of farmhouse ales nearly came to an end, but this brew saw a surge in popularity over the recent years, especially in the U.S., according to Beer Advocate.

It may be difficult to find a Saison at a grocery store but Firestone’s Opal may be the easiest to find.

So even with the recent craft craze, craft brews are still a niche drink that haven’t fully taken hold on the masses.