Reasons to drink craft beer #2

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting some fellow beer lovers at an evening of Prickly Moses beer tasting at Young and Jackson’s in the city. A couple of the folk who brew the beer (and market it, and deliver it, and bottle it) were there to host the evening and took time to talk about the beer and the challenges in making it. It reminded me of one of the reasons I drink craft beer.

It seems to me that craft brewers are fighting against many things.

1. Generations of Australian beer drinkers who are more interested in brand loyalty, consistency and easy drinking than complex tastes and interesting variety (I was in that category myself only 12 months ago).

2. Big breweries with big budgets who can control much of the trade in raw materials and much of the distribution. Even some of the ‘2nd tier’  breweries – in terms of size – are big enough these days to have a significant impact on the availability of hops.

3. A small number of outlets willing to sell craft beer (although thankfully this is increasing). Every tap and fridge counts. No ‘instant market’ that the big boys enjoy.

4. A taxation system that is stacked against craft brewers.

5. Large setup costs and very little potential for a decent pay-back for all the effort. Few financial planners would recommend brewing as a retirement plan.

With all these challenges it would be reasonable to ask “Why bother?”.

The brewers I talk to all say it’s about tackling the challenges, having fun, innovating and indulging a passion.

Like listening to music created by people who truly love what they do, drinking beer brewed with passion is always a pleasure regardless of the style or even the quality (within reason).

A reason to drink craft beer? Because each one is a pint of passion in a world of impersonal mass-produced economically rational sameness.

Cheers

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One response to this post.

  1. Hear hear!

    Reply

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