It's about the beer
Gina Miller and Bill Keeper
Craft beer culture (whatever that is) encourages curiosity and exploration among we
consumers. In fact for many people it has almost turned beer into a hobby and a lifestyle.
Slowly but surely craft has removed a lot a lot of the stigma about preferring beer to other
alcoholic beverages and even more; it has made things like drinking an 11% double IPA before
5 PM an almost acceptable practice. If it was a typical 13.5% wine no one would care, of
It's my opinion, Bill, that craft beer has lead to less overconsumption and potential serious
drinking problems since it encourages enjoying beer for its quality and flavor. I don’t think
abuse of alcohol isn't an integral part of the real craft beer drinker’s scene. Aft all, it seem silly
to spend so much time and money on high end specialty beers if all one wanted to do was get
drunk. But, (I knew that you knew that I knew a “but” was coming) anyone who has
experienced the last hour of a beer festival has seen alleged craft beer fans who may be
pushing their fandom to its limits.
Interestingly, more and more breweries today are rolling out fantastic session beers, reacting
to a broader consumer desire for flavorful, low alcohol alternatives to all of the huge IPAs and
imperial stouts. The rise of session beers as a viable product segment in craft beer heralds
some expansion in the drinking habits of craft drinkers. There's plenty of room in craft culture
for these types of bees along with the high gravity and strength ones that are are part of what
defines craft. .All I'm saying is that craft provides a portfolio of various alcohol levels that can
help people new to craft beer transition to experiencing the big beers of craft in a responsible
Bill, I think you’ll agree with me (for once) that craft culture engenders thoughtful appreciation
of the brewer's art and respect for his product. Craft has deepened and matured my own
attitudes toward alcohol immeasurably since I started learning about beer oh so long ago. If
any new drinker gives craft its due consideration they will become a wiser, more finicky
consumer; which in turn will reduce the likelihood that the person will pound a sixpack without
thinking about it. Imparting an appreciation and respect for beer as depository of culture,
knowledge, and enjoyment is I think a noble duty of any craft partisan toward those who see
beer only as an alcohol delivery system. Spreading that message is part of what we do here at
BeerNexus and I'm proud of that!
That's it from me, chug-a-lug, Bill.....see you next time!
Hello Gina -
I was hoping you'd pick a topic that had something to do with beer in baseball, beer in the
spring, or even the beer in my glass but no, you wax philosophical about craft beer. Which
means you're making me think and that always gives me a headache.
While there may be a lot of people that disagree with your premise that craft beer leads to more
responsible drinking, I'm not one of them. You're right in believing that the craft beer culture,not
just the drink itself, can Impart an appreciation and respect for beer that carries with it an inner
monitor of when enough is enough. To put it another way, I rarely see anyone I consider a real
craft beer lover drinking to great excess.
Because of that ,I think it is a noble duty of any craft partisan to spread the message that good
beer is here to be savored and enjoyed, not to chug down like a mega brewers lager. And if I
may pat us on the back, that's essentially what we do in this column as does BeerNexus itself..
It's my hope that the ascendancy of craft beer in this country will continue to improve our
drinking culture generally for decades to come making Americans more thoughtful and
respectful drinkers. As more and more young people turn to things like flavored spirits
(despicable products which exist solely to mask the flavor of alcohol with syrups and additives),
craft beer is setting a new example.
I do however admit that your comment on the last hour of some beer festivals is sadly true. For
some people is a time when they stop tasting and just started drinking, lurching from table to
table demanding one more pour before closing time. Most of these people however did not
come to the festival to enjoy great beer and intelligently discuss it. A good number probably
came to get more check ins on Untappd (don't get me started on the Untappd whacos) or want
to beat the system by drinking more value than the cost of their ticket. They however are the
minority at most festivals that serve serious craft beer. And no, that's not the Blue Moon
sponsored festival at the racetrack you wanted to drag me to last month.
On the other hand there are serious beer folk who lament the explosion in big DIPAs or barrel
aged Imperial stouts simply because of their high ABV. They seem to want all beer to be lagers,
milds, pilsners,and other low ABV styles. They are just as wrong as those who only buy beer
according to its alcoholic content. It's about flavor. It's about taste. It's about variety. And that's
the bottom line.
Here's looking at you Gina