Tap This: Drinking local invites you to try quality products
In the current craft dominated world that extends far beyond beer into a variety of areas, the idea behind something being “craft” is for it to be good, a higher quality of sorts. Whether it be handcrafted wood-workings, farm-to-table food, or craft pickles, the idea is that we expect a better product under this banner. The other movement that has become synonymous with craft, is local, but that does not always mean the same high quality.
There is a push to “drink local.” The same term is used as a buzz word in many food related areas whether it be “locally grown” or “produced locally.” The idea behind this is fantastic, support the local economy, which is something we should do, but we should expect good quality.
We are blessed to be living in an area that has an abundance of high quality products being produced.
As a beer lover, traveling for beer is common practice. There is an endless array of great breweries that produce beer only for its local market. Traveling to the source is the only way to get the beer and while many of us will try some of the other local flavor happening on the beer taps, the results can often be mixed.
The craft beer craze has opened the gates for many breweries. This is not without its downfalls though and some breweries either opened too soon or did not do enough research and development before opening and have sadly realized very unpleasant beer.
The issue is not that bad beer is being brewed, even the best breweries will have off batches from time to time. The issue lies in the touting of “drink local” being used in a way to explain away an inferior product.
Something being produced locally is what makes a product unique, however it does not make it good. No brewer would intentionally brew bad beer, but it happens.
Take a moment and examine the terms that are thrown around far too often and that have seemingly lost their intention to the mass market.
We are extremely lucky to have the vast amount of great breweries, craftsman, and farmers throughout our area producing great products. However, they are not great just because they are local, they are local and happen to be great.
Craft drinkers or consumers of anything craft in intention have a higher expectancy for a product. Our palates have adjusted and off flavors are something we are more sensitive to in both our drink and our food.
This higher demand drives us forward and our local economy as well, but how do we accomplish this? It is not through trolling online sites and commenting how bad beer is or how awful something was, instead it is done through open and honest discussion with the producers.
No one wants to produce a bad product and the local economy wants to keep moving forward in the right direction and keeping local customers happy. The key is just to remember that being local is not what makes something good. It is the love and care that goes into a product that makes it good and it is made even better knowing that a good product is made locally.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.