Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

May 17, 2010

Beer Issues:

It’s A Celebration

No excuses: go out to your local brewery this week and raise a toast with (and to) craft beer.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
This week (May 17-23) is American Craft Beer Week, a celebration of “small and independent craft brewers” (because we need to make sure Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing, and New Belgium Brewing get some love despite their size). This week has become a pretty big deal. Even Congress is thinking about maybe getting off their lazy butts and talking about perhaps contemplating a possible discussion of passing a proposed resolution “Supporting the goals and ideals of American Craft Beer Week.” While the federal government gets that done, we can do our own little part in celebrating American craft beer.

First off, go to your nearest craft brewery and have a beer this week. Easy enough, right? If you’re feeling frisky, make a toast to American craft brewers while you’re there.

And if for some reason—I’m sure through no fault of your own (you ran outta gas, had a flat tire, didn’t have enough money for cab fare, your tux didn’t come back from the cleaners, an old friend came in from outta town, someone stole your car, there was an earthquake, a terrible flood, or locusts)—you can’t get to your local brewery, the next best thing you can do is wipe the dust off of one of those special brews you have aging in the cellar, pop the top, and toast to the ingenuity and passion of America’s small, independent brewers. Or if you don’t have a cellar, just drink a good craft beer you have in the fridge. Or go to the beer store and get one. And drink it. Skip the toast if you have to. And if you’re not willing to do any of that stuff then I really need to know what you’re doing visiting this site and how you got here. Better yet, just go the fuck away.

But not only should you drink craft beer this week—preferably at the brewery at which it was crafted—but you really should abstain from drinking industrial bong water, also known as “macro beer.” Yes, even PBR tallboys. (Don’t worry, the facial hair and/or tattoos will keep your cred intact for the rest of the week.) If you’re one of those convenience craft beer drinkers afraid to drink “that dark beer” when among you’re Miller Lite drinking friends, this week you need to cinch ’em up and only drink locally brewed, independently owned stuff instead of bowing to the pressure and doing only what the crowd does.

One thing you absolutely cannot do is forget about American Craft Beer Week, or ignore it, or tell yourself you’re just so damn busy that you don’t have time for even one damn beer and five good minutes of contemplation and appreciation. Because that is tanamount to taking craft beer for granted, and that is downright IDIOTIC. The culture of craft beer in America is amazing, but assuming it will last forever is naivety beyond comprehension. Because although the tide of battle is turning, the war is far for over. Our enemies—the forces of evil that would have every human on the planet mindlessly drinking tasteless yellow alcohol water—never grow tired, and are fueled by billions of dollars and legions of uninformed, sometimes rabid followers. They will stop at nothing to trick and coherce us into drinking their commoditized, culturally soulless “beer.”

The price of great beer is eternal vigilance, making American Craft Beer Week not only a period of celebration, but an opportunity to get the word out to a wider and wider audience that creative, flavorful beers made by artisans in communities across the country is both a reclamation and a reinvention of America’s beer heritage.

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...