Craft drinks are the new craze in the beverage world. Be it craft beers, craft whiskies, or craft gins, people are looking for something different. Especially younger people tend to get away from big brands and support more smaller producers.
Wine, the true craft beverage
I don’t want to talk bad about the big brands since I have myself been involved in producing quite a few. However, there is a recent trend that shows micro breweries and craft produce gain a huge following. I only understood clearly when I got involved in viticulture that wine is the one and true craft beverage.
Everything about wine is craft. There is no recipe to it and every year the wines due to vintage changes are different. Each wine maker is show casting his/her skills and also the climate and geographical location do matter greatly.
In wine there are still some mega brands for sure. Nonetheless there are mostly small family run wineries producing their own unique hand crafted wines.
It is really amazing how two wineries next door to each other can produce very different styles of wine from the same grape varietal.
Wine makers have a great range of freedom. There are so many ways of how to do the fermentation, ageing and maturation and blending of the wines. This is very different from the Scotch Whisky industry where the actual process is highly controlled by law. This is to protect the industry but ultimately scares the consumer with its complexity.
The story counts
So its great that consumers are becoming better educated on their beverages, making them more discerning. That will only drive better quality and innovation in the beverage industry. People who think this is a fad may be proven wrong. In the world of the internet and social media, consumers are better informed, and get their information from more trusted sources than ever before. The ability for the big guys to create mega brands from a smart marketing team is not easy anymore.
Places that own the craft craze
So heritage and a good honest story is what makes a brand interesting and authentic, and that’s what the craft people are. A good examples of this are my friends at the Scottish Beer Clan creating and reviving some of Scotland best small breweries www.craftbeerclanscotland.com. Chris Molyneaux who worked with me with a big spirit producer, went on to start his own craft gin brand www.daffysgin.com. The guys at Eden Mill in Scotland are making Beer, Gin and Whisky in a 19th century brewery near the famous golf town of St Andrews Scotland www.edenmill.com .
Getting back to wine, as I mentioned, the world has many small wineries and vineyards in some of the worlds most beautiful and romantic locations. A couple to share with you are Castello di Amorosa www.castellodiamorosa.com in Napa valley. Here the owner is of Italian decent. He created his own 13th Century Tuscan castle, with stone imported from Tuscany.
Another very close to my heart is in a strange place for wine. It’s Thailand’s Monsoon Valley wines from the beautiful seaside resort of Hua Hin. The owner is one of the pioneers of the Thai Wine industry, now producing wines winning awards globally. www.monsoonvalleywine.com
What makes the craft craze special
A key part of the great wine experience is the place, as well as the story. This is what makes the wines special and gives them a character or personality that goes beyond the simple taste.
So cheers, to the continuation of the craft craze, bringing us all great drinks with a story to share.