Saturday, June 02, 2007

Think globally, drink locally: a rant

I stopped by a local beer emporium yesterday, where, other than Dogfish Head of Delaware, there were no local beers on tap. (By local I refer to D.C., Maryland, Virginia. Because of restrictive regulations, D.C. brewpubs are not allowed to sell their beer off-site.)

Fresh beer is the best beer. Say it again: Fresh beer is the best beer. Once more: Fresh beer is the best beer.

Beer tastes best when fresh. Yes, there are exceptions, but, being liquid bread, beer will be at its best when it's fresh from the vat.

I have been preaching this since I made my first batch of home brew two decades ago, since I first stirred a mash professionally 15 years ago. And many others have been saying this for far longer, and far more eloquently, than me.

Now, I don't mean to single out the above beer pub, but I will hold some of the coterie of beer geeks to be culpable. Too often I'll hear some of them proclaim their fealty to good beer, yet watch them flit from new beer to new beer with scant regard for freshness but with maximum regard for the next newest thing, and, seemingly peevishly, especially if the beer is from somewhere other than here.

And don't get me wrong. I'll enjoy a good Belgian beer as much as the next guy, or a wonderful craft beer from elsewhere. But let's support our local brewers as well.

There, I feel better. I got it off my chest. And, I will admit, happily, that I too am a beer geek. In the interest of transparency, I should also say that I am employed by the Clipper City Brewing Company, and so do have a financial stake in the local beer thing.

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