Craft beer? Umm … Surely you have realized that not all beer is considered “craft beer” … yet … all craft beer is still called beer.  
Interesting, right? Let’s explore West Coast craft beer more together!

Differences Between Beer & Craft Beer

True craft beer is made in small batches with high quality while regular beer is made in large batches with less quality.
Regular beer drinkers are more about consistency. Industrialized mass production beer suits the American distribution system, offers an ability to promote products nationwide and creates loyal mass market beer drinkers. Not only have most folks developed a loyalty to their brand, but they also have developed a standard taste expectation. As long as it’s their brand and it’s ice cold it’s all good.
True beer connoisseurs are drawn to craft beer.  For this reason, these connoisseurs are taste explorers. They want to get to discover their favorite flavors and get to know their beer’s history.


  • What hops were used?
  • Where is the brewery?
  • Who is the brewmaster?
  • How was it brewed?
However, almost all craft beer drinkers got their start with regular beer.

What is the Evolution to Becoming a Craft Beer Drinker?

How does one evolve from being a regular beer drinker into a craft beer drinker? Great question! 
By and large they are always ordering “something you’ve never had.” Looking for a new experience leads most beer drinkers to craft beer.
Therefore, the best way for someone to ease into craft beer is to start light and slowly move to the heavier stuff. In other words, Pilsners, lagers, kolsh and other sessional beers are a good place to start.
Don’t be afraid to try anything a glassful at a time!
Bounce around to see what styles your taste buds enjoy. Are you a Cider person, are you more of a sour style drinker or do you enjoy Stouts?

Why Try … West Coast Craft Beer?

The West Coast is said to be where craft beer got it’s start. This makes sense because it has the best weather to grow hops. The West Coast grows 97.8% of hops in the US. Important to realize that immigrants were satisfied with the freedom America offered and dissatisfied with industrialized beer. So, they started making their own at home the way their families always had. Home brewing and craft brewing are inextricably linked.
However, this made for stiff competition in California, Washington, Oregon and even Idaho. If there are thousands of breweries, you have to be the best to be successful. In my opinion this makes the West Coast the best coast when it comes to craft beers.
Want to learn a bit more about the history of craft beer? 1965 was a pivotal year for craft brewing when Anchor Brewing Company based in San Francisco was purchased by Fritz Maytag. Important to realize this was the very beginning of the craft beer movement in America. The Brewer’s Association website’s posting History of Craft Brewing is a great resource to learn more about this movement in the beverage industry.
Go on a little adventure!
Order a different kind of beer … craft beer the next time you are out with friends. 



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Published by Todd Wetzel

Family, Living in Napa & the Chicago Cubs 

Our CKJY Exports team affectionately calls him… “THE Todd”.

Todd has 20+ years of experience regarding everything wine, beer, spirits and the service industry. He is a triple threat because provides keen insights to the changing wants of consumers and working knowledge of fine restaurants. Additionally, Todd brings an in depth understanding of how wineries, breweries, distilleries and distributors operate to our team.

Todd is the team’s "go to alcohol expert." He pairs his impeccable taste with a friendly outgoing nature and a big smile on his face. Follow Todd’s blog posts to gain a more in depth understanding of American wine, beer and spirits!

Todd’s go to favorites are.. lush Viogniers, delicious IPA’s and his weakness is a rich Cabernet Sauvignon. But what truly excites him is trying new and creative things!

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