NEW YORK - Pull up a stool at Big Alice Brewing in Long Island City, Queens, and co-founder Kyle Hurst will show you that he knows craft beer. Hurst opened the brewery and taproom on 43rd Road and is ready to expand. Using different ingredients, he makes beer that tells a story.
The craft beer movement is booming in New York State. The industry grew 59 percent from 2013 to 2014. It's also growing nationally.
"People can walk in here, get a beer, talk to the guys who make it," Hurst said.
Jeff Cioletti is the editor at large of Beverage World magazine. "They're already at 20 percent revenue share," he said. "That's pretty huge when you're talking collectively -- that's competition."
Cioletti said that could be one of the many reasons the owners of Budweiser and Miller may be looking to merge. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewing company, wants to buy SABMiller, the second largest brewer. But the estimated $275 billion deal would be tough to pull off.
"Nobody is going to let that happen here," Cioletti said. "That's a monopoly."
Big Alice Brewing's Hurst said he knows his beer isn't giving the big box brands a run for their money. But the entire craft beer movement is.
"Consumers are the driving force behind it," he said. "They want a more interesting beer."