My name is Ashley, and I love craft beer.
I love everything about beer, from brewing it to drinking it. I also love supporting local, small business. And I love the relationships that are formed over beer. Sharing beer is the best! What I hate, however, is the craft beer beast. From trashing other peoples beer choices, to hording rare release beers for themselves or trade bait, sometimes there’s a darker side to craft beer love.
I sat down at a bar several weeks ago and ordered a South Carolina IPA. It’s not the best IPA on the planet, but, it’s not bad. A couple wandered up to the bar and asked for a Hop Drop and Roll. It’s one of my favorites, so, being the friendly gal I am, I asked if they’d had it before. They said they had, and we struck up a conversation. Fast forward about 15 minutes and a single fellow walks up and sits at the other side of the bar. He orders a Bud Light. There’s a sporting event on. Everyone’s watching, a commercial comes on, something funny occurs, and we all get to talking. Then, after a few words, the fellow in the couple asks the single fellow why he’s drinking *hit beer where there are so many craft options on tap here.
The single fellow starts trying to defend his choice. It’s crazy. This is no way to convert a light lager drinker! And Bud Light isn’t a *hit beer! Is it relatively flavorless….well, yes. But do you know how hard it is to brew a flavorless beer! Is it produced by a massive corporation that only cares about the bottom line, well, yes. I’m not going to defend them, but, they do brew a quality product and if this fellow likes it, he should drink it. I’m certainly open to encouraging him to try other beers. But insulting his beer is NOT the way to do that.
Sadly, that’s not the end of the story. After the couple and this single fellow civilly disagree about his beer choice, the couple then proceeds to trash just about every IPA on tap at the restaurant except Hop Drop and Roll, Including the one I’m drinking. I don’t disagree that HDR is the superior IPA, but, that doesn’t make every other IPA out there terrible. I ended up paying my tab and politely saying goodbye.
Then there’s the white whale hunter. The person who goes into the bottle shop and says, what’s the rarest thing you have, ok, I’ll take a case of it. It’s people like this person that cause the rest of us to have a limit. And even with that limit, some people still find a way to break the system. Hunahpu day is the most recent publicized example. But there have been others, certainly more localized incidents. I’m all for people trading beer with one another, it’s fun to try brews you can’t get in your hometown. But keeping your local beer loving friends from having that special release because you want to trade with 12 people across the country just doesn’t seem right. Trade one or two, but don’t be greedy. Some of the best beers are overlooked on the shelves because they’re so readily available.
I think to love and appreciate craft beer, is also to want to share it with others. I would love to see craft beers’ market share jump from 7% to 30%, or more! But by being a craft beer beast, you’re only keeping craft beer down. Be a good craft beer geek. Share what you love! Be friendly and welcoming, and don’t hoard all the Double Barrel Aged Sour Stout!
~The Beer Fairy