Ask Me About American Craft Beer Week

And then ask me why I don’t give a proverbial rat’s ass about it!

In case you haven’t caught wind of it yet – as amazing s that may be, given the breathless support it’s getting in the beer blogosphere – this week is American Craft Beer Week, a time during which we are all supposed to drink American craft brewed beer and wax all reverential about it with every sip. Further, we’re supposed to surf on over to the Brewers Association website and sign the Declaration of Beer Independence.

Give me strength.

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again: The worst reason in the world for drinking a specific beer is because of where it’s brewed or who brewed it. That’s the approach that gave us all those wonderful regional beer “treasures” of yesteryear, like “because of the water” Olympia and “Rocky Mountain fresh” Coors Banquet Beer. I drink beer because it tastes good, regardless of whether, to cite but one example, it hails from a large multinational like Pilsner Urquell, a European regional like Budweiser “Czechvar” Budvar, a Canadian craft brewery like King Pilsner, or an American canning craft brewery like Sly Fox Pikeland Pils. Each beer has its own attributes and character which I enjoy in different instances and circumstances, and I purchase none because it comes from here or there.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for many of America’s craft brewers, just as I admire the work of many breweries around the world, larger and smaller, near and far. And I will continue to support them all, regardless of provenance. Or, in other words and to paraphrase the aforementioned Declaration:

I therefore declare to support good tasting beer during American Craft Beer Week May 11-17, 2009 and beyond…

5 Replies to “Ask Me About American Craft Beer Week”

  1. I enjoy beers from a certain brewery, and from my state, and keeping people in my state/region employed, and having my state get those taxes, and keeping my carbon footprint lower by not drinking beers shipped across the country or world. So I will keep drinking beers because of where they are brewed and who is brewing them, thank you.

    In this day and age with 31,465 beers available to us and so many of the same style that are so close in quality that I doubt “experts” could pick the same beer out of a list of six I will always choose the one that I never had first, and then having tasted it many times before in the last 20 years drink the one that is made close to me, by people I know employing people I know.

    1. I respect your position, Professor, but even you admit that the first beer you pick will always be the one you have not previously tried, which says a lot about exploring beers for flavor and character.

  2. You would place right at the top if we had a curmudgeon week … I say this with admiration, and I aspire to your curmudgeonly status. I’m good at it, but not as good as you.

    But, to the point, I’m in substantial agreement, and it particularly distresses me to see the self-serving endorsement of economic protectionism in the Declaration of Beer Independence.

    The industry would be better served by a softer toned appeal to try the great beers made in the United States.

    The decision of the Brewers Association to include brewery size and ownership in the definition of ‘craft’ is fundamentally inconsistent, and will certainly lead to problems, as they’ve chosen (as you point out) to focus on issues other than the beer in one’s glass. And I don’t believe the typical beer drinker wants to hear about their ideological issues.

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