I don't brink local and I don't drink craft beer. I just drink BEER! I drink beer from around the world and not just from the nearest brewery. I have no idea what craft beer is and I never understood the meaning behind artisanal. And despite being called many names by family and friends, I am not a connoisseur.
Yes, I do support local breweries but at one time there was only one. All the other beer in my city was similar national brands that were, albeit good, rather uneventful. Then the imports arrived. Europe was far from local but the beers were new and exciting. Coming into the pub each Friday was exciting as we would instantly scan the cooler for the new arrivals. Back then drinking beer was like going on a new date each weekend. I was at the famous Ratskeller in Washington DC and found Kessler 55 form Montana (I believe). I though then as I do now that this has be the best beer ever made. My buddy and me drank the last two bottles they had and was told the brewery was out of business. Had they not I would have lost any desire to even look at another brew.
The Brewers Association have come to define what a craft brewery is. I have issues, as family and friends can attest. First, I don't care what the definition is. If a craft brewery makes great beer and grows (this is what businesses must do) must I stop drinking what I enjoy? If a craft brewery puts out a really bad beer must I not complain and continue to keep buying it? And for those who know me (not that they publicly admit to it) I enjoy a pint with old and new friends at a nice pub. I DO NOT drink with pinky finger extended although fellow drinkers extend one from time to time. I will drink a pint of beer that I enjoy no matter who makes it.
I enjoy beer. There are so many styles and flavors that you can find one that meets your mood at the time. Finding a new one should bring excitement and old favorites bring comfort. Having a pint should be enjoyable. When I walk in to the pub and see a new beer I never ask to see the brewery’s stock report or mailing address. Just seeing it gets me giddy.
There are many breweries in my city right now and they all have something to offer. I enjoy every one of them and support them. I don't shun any because they are not local. Some of my favorites are far from home. So, let's not get snobby about this and just enjoy the beer we have in front of us at the moment. It's all about having a good brew. And remember, the next time you see me at the pub please extend all 5 fingers.