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Good Beer is Your Right

Chris Farley, Founder

I once heard Alice Waters say in an interview that good food was not a privilege or a luxury, it’s a right. That statement could be even more specific: good beer is not a privilege or a luxury, it’s a right.

I don’t think Ms. Waters would need much convincing that beer is food. It’s as much a part of diet and cuisine as wine, and the origins of many classic styles point to this fact: Bock and Doppelbock as “liquid bread” in German monasteries, Saisons and Bieres de Garde as seasonal provisions in rural northern Europe, brown porter as the energy drink of manual laborers in Victorian England. And it’s no surprise that so many homebrewers are also avid cooks, barbecuers, veggie gardeners, and harvesters of fish and game.

We as a society have had a bit of a toxic relationship with beer over the years, forgetting sometimes that it’s a food and not just an agent of intoxication (remember the lessons of 1919). The major accomplishment of Prohibition – besides lining the coffers of organized crime – was crippling the American brewing industry, and the result was the bottlenecking of our native beer into the long-shadowed monolith of Lite Lager.

Beer, as Norman McClean wrote, “used to come from your town or the next town over, and not St. Louis or Milwaukee.” Thanks to the craft beer movement, this is largely the case once again – American breweries are at roughly the same number today as they were before the Volstead Act.

You make a choice, a vote, a statement every time you open a bottle of craft or homebrewed beer instead of a can from a factory with an advertising budget that could swallow your local microbrewery whole.

Protect your right to good beer! Drink beer brewed by an artisan – whether that artisan is in a brewery, or in a kitchen or basement – who knows and cares about his or her craft, and not a product fermented to specifications decided upon in a boardroom.

Slainte, Prosit, and Cheers!