Connection is important. Internet connection, connecting flights, connect-four there’s something quite satisfying about seeing those four little token pieces all line up in a row…connecting with people, one could argue that may be the most important connection of all. What are we if we cant fit in with a crowd, talk about how shitty our boss is over a double barrel-aged molasses imperial doughnut stout, am I right?!
I mean what I’m trying to say is we all just want somewhere to belong, a place to share and connect with people on a meta-cicerone level. Cicerone? That’s right folks, there is an actual title that a person can obtain when they know, a shit ton about beer. As defined on cicerone.org (.org means its legit right?) any-who, on the legit-beer-aficionado website a cicerone is someone “with proven experience in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers” and there are levels to this prestigious title where one is put through rigorous testing in order to achieve, aka: drink a lot of different types of beer and be able to know what the heck your tasting. Okay it’s a sommelier of beer. Enough about the titles, let’s just say they are people who fucking-love-beer. I mean who doesn’t? With the way they can make beer taste like strawberry-lime Popsicles, or milk n cookies you’re kids could even love it! Alright, so I’m not in any way advocating for under age drinking, I’m a professional after all.
The wave of “coolness” that craft beer crashed this decade with is ever-splashing its tasty liquid everywhere and not receding back into obscurity. These days nearly any given semi-metropolis has a “decent” up and coming beer scene. Micro-brews, macro-brews, craft beer bars, brew pubs, brew festivals, craft beer tours, craft beer here, craft beer EVERYWHERE.
So what’s the draw? For one, if you’re old like me and are way over the club and college bar scene, craft beer offers a community where drinking becomes more of a hobby, something that you can talk about rather than just downing a couple shots of tequila and chasing it with a bud light and bad decisions. With craft beer you can form groups where you talk about, rate, and give tips on what’s hot and new, what’s delicious, what isn’t. You can stand in line at 6 am for the hottest new beer release on black Friday, and not feel like an alcoholic, its culture, it’s community, and what the hell it’s good-ass beer!
If watching the Fyre Fraud documentary has taught us anything is the number one thing that scares the shit out of millennials is the fear of missing out meaning we want to make sure were doing whatever it is that is relevant and on trend as it happens. Craft beer culture feeds that inner FOMO monster by always providing new and delicious ways to get buzzed and better yet a great insta post to share to your 500 followers in hopes that you can get those likes honey and maybe cause some of your friends some FOMO yourself.
Never mind some of the pretentious AF remarks you may over-hear at some of your favorite local breweries. On any given Saturday you may be sitting with your favorite crafties enjoying the newest sour on tap at (insert name of local brewery here) and you can observe a group of college-yuppie types dressed in matching underarmour sweatshirts, and hear them say something like “I’m not really a porter guy, I’m into IPAs—not all IPAs just really juicy ones, you know ones that aren’t so “hoppy” the other underarmour wearing ‘bro’ responds in a understanding tone “ya I know what you mean man, I’m really into goses right now” they both nod in agreement and approach the beer-tender, guy number one orders “I’ll have the least hoppy IPA you have”…. You can hear the eye-roll from your corner of the bar from the man pouring the beers.
There are a few types of people that craft beer attracts, people who actually know a shit-ton about beer, those aficionados we talked about earlier, you remember the cicerone-types! These guys could be confused for as snobs, but really they are just people who know a lot about beer, really there is A LOT to know, these are the people that can sell, make, rate and suggest beers to your tastes. We like these people, these people help one of the other types of people that craft beer attracts the people like me. I’m the person who enjoys trying out new beers, I know what I like, but I also like suggestions something that will broaden my tastes and take my beer drinking experience next level I’m talking Kanye West twitter feed next level.
There are the douche-y college boys and the girls who come in some version of what they think is “trendy” but are really just clothes that they see girls on instagram wear when they brunch-hard and lack any sort of creativity. These kids are there to get drunk or at least start their pre-gaming activities while they toss some corn hole and talk about their vacation plans, or how lame the government is, or whatever college kids these days talk about. What I do know is that they are on trend, whether that means their straight-legged jeans, with layered hoodie and collared shirt or the fresh tropical IPA sloshing around in their non-throwing hand.
Enough of the bashing of today’s youth or tomorrow’s future…this article was supposed to be about bringing people together, remember all that “connecting” talk we had at the beginning of this diatribe? Something really inimitable about the craft beer phenomenon is just that, it is a community, a drinking community, yes but it offers these really open/inclusive spaces where people of all walks of life and levels of beer knowledge can come together, over a pint or a chalice and just be themselves.
Not to mention most craft beer spots are kid and dog friendly and encourage you to bring your 2-leg and 4-legged critters along with you on your day drinking excursions. What a time to be alive. You can openly drink a 9% beer in a group of people with your children running around and not be judged or look like an alcohol dependent parent with no control.
When I said craft beer was making alcoholism trendy again, I was trying to make a joke but let’s be honest beer saved the world once (its true I saw it in a movie) I have feeling it’s heroic efforts have yet to be determined. So next time your feeling like your instagram feed is getting you down, or your favorite football team just lost their chance to go to the Superbowl because of Tom Brady and the refs, just grab your kids, your wallets and your cell phone because chances are there’s an awesome peanut butter stout waiting for you less than 15 miles from your home that you need to take a pic of and enjoy!