According to Wikipedia, "A microbrewery, or craft brewery, is a modern brewery [that] produces a limited amount of beer."
The ancient art of beer brewing began with the establishment of agricultural society and the cultivation of grains such as barley and wheat. Around 4000 BC, the Sumerians discovered the effects of drinking gruel that had been left to ferment; this ale became more alcoholic once brewers began malting the barley. Germinating the grain, then drying and heating it so that the starch turned to sugar, produced a more powerful fermentation and stronger flavor.
In northern Europe, where the cultivation of wine grapes was unknown, but where grain flourished, brewing probably developed independently. A French doctor discovered that yeast is the microorganism responsible for the fermentation process.
Health experts have known for some time that moderate alcohol consumption actually benefits health. Studies have shown that those who consume moderate amounts of beer (one to two a day at most) have a 30-40% lower rate of coronary heart disease than those who don't drink.
Other health benefits of beer include:
--Increased amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in the bloodstream.
--Decreased occurrence of blood clots.
--Variety of minerals.
--A similar amount of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, to red wine.
The Wikipedia article continues, "In the early twentieth century, Prohibition drove many breweries in the US into bankruptcy because they could not rely on selling 'sacramental wine' as wineries of that era did. After several decades of consolidation of breweries, most American commercial beer was produced by a few very large corporations, resulting in a very uniform, mild-tasting lager.... Consequently, some beer drinkers craving variety turned to home brewing and eventually a few started doing so on a slightly larger scale. For inspiration, they turned to Britain, Germany, and Belgium, where a centuries-old tradition of artisan beer and cask ale production had never died out."
Microbrews were so popular, the trend caught on and hundreds of microbreweries sprang up. As they proliferated, some became larger than the microbreweries of the original definition, and the term came to include the concept of artisanal beer in the European tradition. The Association of Brewers reports that in 2006 there were 1,389 regional craft breweries, microbreweries, and brewpubs in the United States.
Thousands of beer lovers have realized their dreams by building successful microbrewery businesses. If you are so inclined, you can too. Microbrewery business plans are available online; because alcohol control is given to the states, laws vary by state. Some American microbreweries act as their own distributor (wholesaler) and sell to retailers and/or directly to consumers.
Thomas Jefferson said, "Beer, if drank in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health." The key, of course, is moderation.Fun, Profitable, Wholesome Business You Can Start - Microbrewery