By Alex Olivares
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]nce upon a time, America was down to 44 mainstream breweries. Today, the industry has thousands of members and Orange County’s craft scene is gaining popularity.
A craft beer is any beer manufactured by a small company or microbrewery. These breweries may pump out no more than 6 million barrels a year, cannot be more than 25 percent owned by another company that is not a craft brewer and must use traditional methods of brewing, according to the Brewers Association.
Microbrewing’s popularity emerged in the 1970s. President Jimmy Carter eased regulations, sparking a movement that has yet to slow down. The number of craft brew companies exploded from about eight in 1980 to more than 2,300 in 2012. California has the most microbreweries of any state with about 316 on that list.
In Orange County, there are more than a dozen microbreweries as of this year. These include Bootlegger’s Brewery in Fullerton, The Bruery in Placentia and Valiant Brewing Company in Orange.
“The scene in Orange County is growing and evolving very quickly,” says Greg Gerovac, co-owner of the Anaheim Brewery. “It’s exciting to be in craft beer right now