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Craft Beer Sales On The Rise

Craft Beer Sales On The Rise

   2013 was a good year for craft brewers across the country, including some here in the Southern Tier.
      Numbers show Craft beers are the driving growth in the beer industry. More beer drinkers are looking to neighborhood breweries according to the latest report from the Brewery Association.
     Dennis Edwards, owner and brewer at Birdland Brewing says beer drinkers are looking for flavor.
     "They want something that's unique. Something that is handcrafted, that someone put a lot of time into," says Edwards."They're just tired of this massed produced gray water."
     Craft brewers nationwide say retail business grew by twenty percent in 2013.
     Edwards says business is strong and they're even thinking about expanding.  
     "We have in our assortment is flavors to cover anbodys pallet," says Edwards."We have some nice light pale ales and we go all the way to our dark and a black IPA that's right around 9 percent."
     Having a variety of flavors is also important to Horseheads Brewing Company, which has draft flavors known throughout New York State.
     "We do a chili pepper beer, actually rated number five in the country," says Edward Samchisem of Horseheads Brewing Company. "We do a pumpkin ale, that's actually rated number six in the country."
     The number of small craft breweries like Horseheads Brewing has also gone up.
     As of last year, the US is home to more than twenty eight hundred breweries, up fifteen percent from the year before.
     "I think it's great. I mean last year we did 800 barrels. This year we're looking at actually expanding to get up to about 1600 to 1700 barrels," says Samchisem. "That's over 50,00 gallons of beer."
     With numbers steadily climbing, local owners say now's the time to try a new brew.