Once the King of Beers, Budweiser has lost ground to the craft craze. Thankfully. Nowhere is that more true than in the Bay Area, where it seems everyone and their beer-swilling mom has opened a microbrewery. A study by Bud’s parent company confirmed the trend: 44 percent of 21- to 27-year-old drinkers in the US have never tried Budweiser.

There’s a place for big, bland lite beers, like a country concert or a frat party. But for a growing number of beer drinkers who prefer taste to bulk, Kerri Carder-McCoy is their sherpa.

Last month, the Millbrae native began offering brewery tours through her company, Bay Area Ale Trails. The five-hour jaunts take people to several breweries for tours of production facilities, a lunch, tastings and some trivia along the way. Her next event takes place Saturday, when a couple dozen folks strike out for San Jose’s Clandestine, Strike and Hermitage brewing companies. SanJose.com sat down with Carder-McCoy to learn more about the Ale Trails.

Where’d you get the idea for this tour?
I’ve been in hospitality for over 15 years and a beer fan since I was 21, or a little bit before. Just a little, though (laughs). Having grown up in the Bay Area, I’ve watched the craft beer scene experience a huge uptick.

So this venture started it in March. From then, I’ve been able to actually form my company and launch my first tour. It started with a trip to Thailand last Christmas. Our Kaiser doctor told us to avoid the water and drink beer the whole time. Seriously, it’s safer. Plus, they don’t have ice cubes. So yeah, I’ll take a cold beer over warm water. Anyway, my wife and I were on the beach, sipping on Chang beer, a really popular light beer in Thailand, and started chatting and daydreaming about how we could stay there forever. We wondered what the beer scene was like in Thailand. They’re really into light beers like lager, my favorite, while my wife enjoys the darker beers. Could we open a brewery? Could we host tours?

That conversation morphed into me starting a beer blog. I began exploring the beer scene in my own backyard, in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Then, last spring, I started this tour company.

What trends are you seeing in the local craft beer scene?
More alcohol. A lot of what I’m seeing is higher alcohol content. A lot of double IPAs, super hoppy beers. For a lot of beer-makers, the hoppier, the better. Of course, not everybody is a fan of the bitter brews. But we’re also starting to see a lot more varietals of hops, which gives you a huge range of flavor profiles. Not all hops are that bitter. [She would know, she’s grown her own].

At places like Hermitage, where they do a lot of contract brewing, you’ll see brewers experimenting with different containers. You’ll see the aging in all these beautiful barrels, different kinds. Some ask to use old tequila bottles or a used chardonnay barrel, different things to impart a unique flavor.

Of course, right now we’re also going to see a lot of the holiday beers, more stouts and dark brews, coming up right now because of the holidays.

Difference between wine drinkers and beer drinkers?
Beer drinkers have more fun! But really, I like anyone who drinks beer. We’re not as prim and proper. We’re chill, lighthearted. A lot of beer drinkers are getting more experimental, too. The trend is definitely moving away from huge producers. People’s flavor palates have opened up, they’re more explorative. I’ve had people who only drank Bud Light come on my tour and experience so many new flavors and styles. I show them that, even if you’re just into the light lagers, there are so many more out there. There was one guy who told me, “Dude, I tried that lager you recommended, I loved it. You’ve changed me forever.”

Bay Area Ale Trails, noon Saturday, starts at San Jose Diridon Station. $99. Silicon Valley tour of Hermitage Brewing, Clandestine Brewing, Strike Brewing, all in San Jose. bayareaaletrails.com. 415.928.9841.