Dec 13, 2011

For Me, Craft Beer Is Like Folk Music

Earlier this week I was at my local craft beer shop talking with the incredibly helpful beer manager there who regularly likes to show me his latest imported craft beers.  While his descriptions are enticing and the brewers' recipes sound tasty enough, I always seem to decline.  I typically reply "Thanks, but I seem to prefer and stick to domestic (U.S.-brewed) beer".

This time he asked me why, and apparently I wasn't ready for the question.  Frankly, I had never really thought about it.  It was always an automatic, gut reaction.  I own a foreign car.  God knows most everything I've bought in the last few years was likely made in China. I'm far from a radical nationalist.
Why was it that I always gravitated toward American #craftbeer over all other beers?  Even similarly brewed foreign imports?  I wasn't sure when he asked, but on the drive home the answer came to me.

I like music.  I like a lot of styles of music.  I like folk music.  A lot.  Why do I like it?  It's uniquely American.  It makes me reflective.  Reflective of myself, of those around me, the artist, their intentions, how it makes me feel. It's original, deep and seems to speak to me.
Craft beer has a similar feel.  It's folk art.  It's the result of hard-working fellow Americans, many with a background like mine.  It doesn't come from a far away land that I've never visited and likely never will.  It's from my backyard.  From your backyard.

Call me a hypocrite. Call me crazy. Tell me I'm missing out on some of the best beer available.  Tell me I'm plain old stupid.  I understand all of these responses.

That's not to say I begrudge anyone else their right to listen to folk music from Sweden or drink beer from Belgium or Italy or New Zealand.  But unlike a folk song from the Nordic region, American craft beer speaks directly to me.  In my language.  I get it...and then I drink it.


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