I feel the need to explain why Ive been so interested in local craft beer after seeing some lists and examples of craft brewed beer in recent articles, like The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Drink Craft Beer and 10 Great Beers Brewed In Unlikely Places .
These articles highlight a few of the reasons and craft beers without covering my reasons for loving it. Those that read my infrequent posts, will know Im big on local food. While Im far from new to good beer, Ive liked microbrews or imports for a long time, the interest or better yet fascination with local craft beer is fairly new for me. I can’t pinpoint when the light bulb went off, but I think I became more aware the craft beer movement. Things like this video
and these interviews
Have solidified my interest.
Hearing these brewers talk about their commitment to brewing, their craft, and sustainability, its not hard to see how it meshes with my values. This is something they need to do, as they just cant out cheap, distribute, or advertise the beer water makers. Which is fine, they can do something things the big guys cant, be local, fresh, unique, and small. This is their differentiator.
Pretty much anywhere you where you go, you can find a local brewery. When I was on a trip to Long Island this past weekend, there were no fewer than 4 breweries with a reasonable drive. Near our home in MA, as you can see on this map (beermapping.com), there are a significant number as well. What Im getting at, is that you can get local beer everywhere. Not only are you shortening the distribution chain, so you get fresh beer, you are also supporting the local economy. These smaller local brewers can also partner with local purveyors, like Cambridge brewing company (Cambridge MA), using Taza chocolate (Sommerville MA) in its Chocolate milk stout. It is that sort of double rainbow that you never see from the big guys.
Even if local does not matter to you, craft beer has much more to offer the beer fan. You can get your traditional pilsners and lighter lagers, if that is what your pallet prefers, but you can also get double imperial stouts, black ipas and wild sours, interesting and unique variations that you may not find else where. The reason why craft beer can offer the variety, and the The scale at which craft beer operates means they are faster moving, they can try the newest variety of hops, or offer wet hopped beers, that operations of larger scale just cant do. They offer something for everyone, and a beer for every season. I personally cant wait for the release of Sierra Nevadas Celebration Ale every holiday season, but also look forward to the next iteration of Alagashs Fluxus which is different every release.
This variety and scale means that fine craft beer is really approachable. Unlike wine, where you may find premium wines starting at 50+ a bottle, going into many thousands. Unique rare beer seems to be much more available . Dont get me wrong, there exceptions, like Portsmouth brewings Kate the Great, or Pliny the elder, that the average consumer cant get. However, I find this is the exception, you can get a great six pack for under $10. A unique limited release bomber for as little as $5-7. Rarely do you find a sku that breaks the $20 mark for a single unit. That makes even a very special craft beer accessible to the new comer, who wants to try it all like myself. Thats why I love craft beer.