Continuing from last month’s column on the Meeting of the Malts in Bethlehem, Karol and I were ready for the highlight of the evening — an all-star panel discussion about the state and future of craft brewing. Jim Koch from the Boston Beer company (aka, Sam Adams) got the ball rolling, saying absolutely no one 35 years ago realized craft beer would become so innovative and dynamic, with such explosive growth. Young brewers were still finding their way. There were no successful role models, save for Fritz Maytag of Anchor Steam Brewing in San Francisco, who advised Koch, “If you want make a small fortune in brewing, start with a large fortune.”

“Yet somehow,” Koch continued, “this first crazy and creative group of semi-misfits re-invented brewing, adding new flavors and tastes.” Koch then mentioned how sorry he felt sorry for the poor wine makers, “Who were stuck with only juice and barrels,” which is why, “All red wine tastes the same.”

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