How I Got Into the Craft Beer Scene (and Why I’ll Never Look Back)

Craft Beer SceneIt would be easy to say the reason I got into the wonderful world of craft beer is because of the wide range of flavors, styles and because craft beer just down right tastes better. Sure, those things are definitely all reasons but I would be reducing and simplifying if I were to say those things are the only reasons. How I got into the craft beer scene seemed to be the path of least resistance and was something that was destined to be.

Confession… I started drinking at a pretty young age and of course being young and dumb (and knowing absolutely nothing about beer) I started out drinking watered down, domestic lagers. It was the only thing I knew of beer since my dad drank Bud Light or whatever else was on sale at the time. Throughout the years of my teenage angst I ran through all the big name brands staying loyal to each one for a short time as my palate would change and my liking for each one would fall away.

As my palate and wisdom developed and matured I stumbled across some craft beer from Rogue Ales at the ripe age of nineteen. The next couple of years I enjoyed craft beer here and there but the spark for the flame of my desire was not yet ignited as I was only interested in whatever would catch me a buzz with the money I had in my pocket at the time. But, in my early twenties something happened that amerced my everything into the consciously creative craft beer scene.

At the time I was working in the food and beverage industry and had just been fired from a fining dinning restaurant uptown. Luckily, I had a friend who was the general manager at this little hole in the wall restaurant that was just getting in on the ground floor of the craft beer revolution in the city. He was very knowledgeable on craft beer and was one of those hardcore craft beer supporters, you know, the type that will travel to wait hours in line for the specialty release beers.

Working in this restaurant and being apart of the beginning of the amazing craft beer revolution in this city was something special. My knowledge of beer grew and so did my appreciation for the craft. As my appreciation for craft beer grew my desire to abuse beer in the form of over consumption waned. No longer was I able to drink light, domestic lagers not only because my palate could no longer stomach them but also because of the attached mentality behind the yellow, fizzy beers. Corporate beer is all about quantity over quality, it sacrifices character for increased profit margins while pushing over consumption on the market. Corporate beer gives you more, crappier beer for less money… isn’t that sweet?

The craft beer scene became something more than a new, trendy hobby for me… it became a movement! As I started to become the person I was created to be the more my love for the craft beer scene engulfed me. It became my fight, craft brew Vs. corporate beer. For me, it is a battle in a much bigger war being played out on the world stage. The craft beer revolution is about freedom over enslavement, collaboration over competition, and creative diversity over monotony. The lines are drawn, the stage is set and I was hooked… amerced in the craft beer scene and I’m not looking back. It’s full steam a head.

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The Art of Craft Beer

Many people think beer is just a refreshing drink for a hot summer day. Or something to be enjoyed in excess during a tailgate or sporting event. That might be true if you’re drinking Budweiser or Miller, but craft beer is an entirely different story.

We’d like to make the argument that craft beer is an art form. Its recent resurgence is due to this fact. Large companies like Budweiser and Miller water down their product and push excessive consumption to sell more of it and increase their profit margins. Craft breweries do the opposite. They focus on improving the quality of their beer and promote appreciation over mass consumption. In doing so, they create customer loyalty, while cultivating the appreciation of a unique art form.

When you taste a watered-down, piss-colored Bud Light, your instinct is not to say “mmm… that’s good. I get notes of citrus on my palate, and the finish is highly refreshing. This would go perfectly with a light salmon dish on a warm spring day.” No, your instinct is to pound it back as quickly as possible so you can open another one, and another one, and then another one. Eventually you start to feel the cumulative effects of the 18-pack you just drank, but is it worth it? If you ask me, it’s definitely not. You end up with a gut and a hangover, and no happy memories of what happened the day before while you were pounding back cans of cheap beer.

Call us craft beer drinkers pretentious beverage snobs all you want. Good beer is an art form. There is a lot that goes into creating a high-quality, enjoyable microbrew that drinkers will truly appreciate. And when it’s appreciated, they’ll come back for more. Customer loyalty is an important ingredient in creating a thriving, successful business.

Let’s think about this in terms of music, which is also an art form. You’ve got mainstream popular artists like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga who have completely sold out to the industry in an effort to obtain massive amounts of money and fame. Yes, they’ve succeeded, but their music is forgettable. On the other hand, you’ve got bands that have been around for decades and are still going strong – Sting, Stevie Wonder, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Throughout the ebbs and flows of the constantly changing music industry, they’ve managed to stay true to themselves, refusing to sell out to money-hungry producers and studio execs, and guess what? They’ve been just as profitable (if not more), and achieved listener loyalty.

Which category would you rather be in?

As a craft brewer, our aim is not to maximize profit, especially when doing so often requires the sacrifice of artistic quality. Our goal is to always be true to who we are and what we believe to be true about what makes beer worth drinking and appreciating. These are principles we strive for with every new batch.

I know we haven’t written in a while, but it’s because we’ve been busy brewing up some new beers, experimenting with out-of-the-box techniques in order to distinguish ourselves among the competition in this city. We’re still just having fun doing it at home – getting the necessary funds to open a brewpub is pretty difficult to do if you don’t know the right people – but for now, that’s enough. Retaining hobby status allows us to take more risks and hone our craft – our art – until the opportunity to seize hold of our long-term dream really becomes a reality. Until then, look out for more posts like this to inspire you to stay true to who you are.