By Morgan Montalvo
Today is International Beer Day, and one local master brewer tells News Radio 1200 WOAI an increasing number of local microbreweries is positioning San Antonio as a formidable player in the craft beer market.
"We're seeing a lot of styles that are thriving here," says Les Locke, head brewmaster at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery at The Pearl, "They can be a really nice, well made craft lager, it could also be an IPA - different styles that are really resonating with the people,"
About a dozen microbreweries have opened in the Alamo City over the past decade, Locke says, with another five or six scheduled to do so over the next 12 months.
Locke says micro-brewed "craft" beers now make up about 20 percent of the overall U.S. beer market, "with the culture really rooted here in San Antonio."
He says local microbreweries are playing a big part in rejuvenating areas of the city that, until recently, have been overlooked by economic development initiatives.
"San Antonio being such a big city, it's such a neat thing seeing all these breweries pop up in these local neighborhoods," says Locke.
International Beer Day was first celebrated in 2007 in Santa Cruz, Ca., and takes place on the first Friday in August. "IBD" traditions include:
Friends gathering in pubs to buy rounds for each other;
Expressing gratitude to bartenders, waitresses and brewers;
And sampling unfamiliar brands or types of beer as a means of increasing one's appreciation for the beverage and its makers.
Nearly 60 countries this year have scheduled International Beer Day celebrations and activities.