The Business of Craft Beer by Kendall College

The Business of Craft Beer by Kendall College

Kendall College of Chicago offers courses in the culinary arts and hospitality management as well as business and education. Their hospitality program recently did a study into craft beer that provides insights into both the growth of the craft beer category as a whole along with food pairing suggestions to go with different styles. Check out this infographic that outlines some of their research.


Small breweries making craft beer are on the rise as distinctive gourmet beer with natural flavors catch on among all age groups. Thirty-six percent of beer drinkers opt for craft selections. Among the baby boomer crowd, 32 percent imbibe craft drinks while 43 percent of the younger Millennial set choose craft over more generic, mainstream brands. The number of artisan beer drinkers could rise as festivals, news articles, and beverage partnerships with airlines raise awareness of craft beer and push it into thelimelight. Many people still don’t know what craft beer is. However, 45 percent admit they would try a mug if they knew about them.

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The variety that exists within the artisan beer culture is staggering. With flavors likely to include things like mango, lemon and vanilla, tastes run the gamut from sweet to pungent and from salty to subtle. The aromas are just as diverse. Partaking of the creative beers, which are often made in oak barrels, is an experience for all the senses. Just as people drink wine, craft beer lovers pause to admire the brilliant colors, sniff the scent and let the first taste linger over their taste buds to identify the complex flavors before swallowing.

Marrying artisan beer selections with food that complements the flavor is the best way to enjoy it. Here are some suggestions. When having a salad, a Saison is nice. For sushi and other seafood, consider a wheat beer, says Phil Mott, an assistant professor at Kendall College. For pasta, such as ravioli, pale ale is accommodating. Spicy curry entrees’ work well with IPAs. Burgers and steaks pair well with an Irish Red beer. Hot sandwiches and brown ale harmonize well together. For pies and other desserts, try a barley wine beer. Save chocolate stout beer for cakes and puddings with a hint of cocoa, suggests a certified cicerone and Kendall College alumnus Drew Larson, who owns Leader’s Beverage Consulting.

Anyone with a passion for craft brews might want to consider following Larson into the beer profession. As the demand for craft beer spreads, more beer careerists are needed. More than 103,580 jobs have been created so far for people in the food and beverage industry. They are being hired not only by bars but also by the 2,403 breweries across America. Job opportunities range from servers at pubs to brewery workers to certified beer tasters. Workers sold consumers $5.7 billion worth of craft alcoholic beverages in 2007. Sales doubled to 12 billion in 2012. By 2017, sales could reach $36 billion.

Kendall College is poised to prepare students for a future in craft brewing and business supervision. Not only does the college have a beverage management program, but it is also the new host of the Seibel Institute, which is known as a World Brewing Academy. The partnership between Seibel and Kendall will result in Seibel running a campus brewery, a beverage teaching hall, and a room dedicated to serving and learning about beer, known formally as Bier Stube.

Courtesy of Matt Zajechowski, Outreach Manager for Digital Third Coast
Connect with him on Twitter and Google+

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