Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

December 19, 2011

Beer Diary:

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

There's a way to support craft brewers that's even better than buying their beer.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
Sometimes, you gotta put up or shut up. You can blab all you want about not eating your mom's makeup when you're drunk and you really need a snack, but until you actually make that commitment and go through with it, you're just another set of flapping lips with breath that smells like Clinique.

The same holds true about craft beer. Sure, you can tell your friends to drink good, locally produced craft beer, buy only good, locally produced craft beer, and even start a web site promoting good, locally produced craft beer, but you'll really only be doing it because you're getting something tangible in return: appreciative friends, good beer to drink, and the adoration of tens of millions of internet readers who hang on your every digitized word. But if you really want to do something to truly and selflessly promote craft beer—other than buying a t-shirt—you need to get more deeply involved. And, yes, it requires money.

I recently discovered a web site called Kickstarter. It's a site that solicits donations for various projects, whether it's a new board game someone's developing, a pro-quality documentary film trying to get off the ground, or, yes, a small brewery cranking out its nascent batches of beer. I'm not one for just blindly giving out money—just ask the last couple of Dorks still hanging around the office foolishly waiting for a paycheck—but this is a chance to make a real difference in the craft brewing world. And things that are good for the craft brewing world coincidentally are good for the rest of the world, except for the parts made up of religious extremists, neo-prohibitionists, shit beer producers, and other sundry asshole types.

I came across a couple of worthy projects just by typing "beer" into Kickstarter's search field. Like:

Building a Pilot Brewery for Northern MN
This one's in Bemidji, Minnesota, known mostly for its college, Bemidji State University, known mostly for getting the crap kicked out of it annually by a certain Minnesota school whose alumni include a contributor and a Ghostbuster. But every community deserves great, locally produced beer, Bemidji being no exception. So if you're from around the area, live in the state, or just have a few bucks burning a hole in your otherwise unholy jeans, check out their pitch.

House of Brews, a Community Supported Brewery
Madison, Wisconsin is a great beer city but, surprisingly, it has only one packaging craft brewery: Ale Asylum. Granted, it's a fucking awesome brewery, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for at least 10 more breweries in the city limits, especially for the city that hosts the Great Taste of the Midwest. House of Brews is already making beer, but anyone who's started a brewery already knows that there's never enough money to address everything that comes up and/or goes wrong. So get off your ass and get down there, ’cause craft beer ain't no riddle man, to me it makes good, good sense.

Good sense.

American Beer Blogger
Not a brewery project per se, American Beer Blogger is a documentary TV series that follows beer writer Lew Bryson as he visits different craft breweries. This isn't some candy-ass "reality" show that's actually scripted pseudo-drama bullshit. This is the real deal … Hell, I can't do a better job of selling it than Lew Bryson can, so see what he has to say about it. He's a no-nonsense, call-it-like-it-is supporter of craft beer and craft beer culture, something we can never have enough of.

That's just the first three things that popped up in my search of the site. Check it out, donate if you have a spare dollar—seriously, you can give as little as 100 cents—and spread the word to all your rich, altruistic friends. Most of the projects offer incentives to supporters if they reach their goal, but that's just gravy on the potatoes that don't need ’em, if you ask me. Besides, for some reason middle- to late-December seems to be a season of giving, so donate in the name of friends and relatives as a gift from you to them. That way you can support craft beer and you don't have to think of—and, not to mention, go out and buy—something for said friends and relatives. It's win win!

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...