I would like prelude this piece with a little disclaimer: this author was enjoying a delicious beverage (or 3…) in the form of water, malts, grains, hops, and yeast as this article was written so I strongly encourage you, the reader, to do the same as you read…
Beer is a glorious entity. From the time of construction of the Great Pyramids of Egypt to the infamous days of American Prohibition, beer has been a marquee aspect in the world’s history. The indulgence of beer has been documented as a form of currency, an avenue to see a higher power, and a strategy to make the unattractive seem attractive.
This delicious nectar has unlimited uses and potential! So why am I writing this? I believe our culture is naïve to all the intricacies and offerings that beer has to offer. How many times have we seen ourselves, a family member, a friend, or some complete rando clutching some generic, lackluster 30-rack through the welcoming doors of a home? If you were wondering, the answer is too many times to count. The beer conglomerates of this country (rhymes with “killer,” “boors,” and “manheuser-cush”) seem to have a monopoly on our understanding of beer. These low ABV, light beers that we constantly see on television commercials and advertisements are pretty uninspiring products. Don’t get me wrong; occasions do exist where PBR and Keystone Light are ideal candidates for specific occasions (beer pong anyone?). But ultimately, there are literally expanses of craft brews that can exceed any expectation of drinking pleasures/circumstances you can think of.
Craft breweries are beginning to flourish and expand across the World but the greater population is still unaware/unwilling to acknowledge their existence. It’s time to join the revolution. Craft beer is GOOD. The offerings available cover the entire gambit of any single person’s preferences. Looking for a light, drinkable option: try an English Mild or Session Pale Ale. Trying to get inebriated in a hurry: a double IPA is right up your alley. Looking for a winter warmer: why not enjoy a hearty Russian Imperial Stout or a barrel-aged Barleywine? Master Brewers across the country experimenting with diverse ingredients that create bold effects. Organic grains, fresh hop flowers, and other fermentable additives are used to produce flavors that defy the traditional conception of beer in itself. The beer brewing process is being manipulated to create a product that completely appeals to all of the senses. Beers exist to match seasonal moods and traditions, accentuate flavors in culinary meals, and even promote local crops.
So next time you’re in a liquor store, avoid the coolers with those boring cases and instead find a 6-pack or mixer from a local craft brewery. Its time to take notice of institutions like Brewery Ommegang, Crux Fermentation Project, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Sanitas Brewing Company, and others that are impacting and converting beer drinkers everyday. Experiment with different varieties and find exactly what your pallet craves.