It’s International IPA Day and I’m conflicted. While I enjoy IPA’s and I love craft beer events, I can’t help but think these made-up beer holidays may have unintended negative consequences for the craft beer scene in general. I’m going to keep this short and sweet, but I hope to get a quick point across and maybe inspire you to think about whether you should blindly follow the latest hash tag hoppy holiday.
First off, I want to be absolutely clear- I am not even suggesting for a second that you should avoid supporting local taprooms and breweries that are doing something special for the day. I think we should take every opportunity to show those hubs of our community how much we appreciate them with our patronage. I’m also not trying to be the curmudgeon in the corner raining on anyone’s parade. I encourage you to head to your favorite spot and have fun if a certain IPA is in your plans.
Here’s the problem I see: in my opinion, the strongest tenant of craft beer is the ability for each of us as individuals to like what we like and to drink what we want to drink. It’s the right to be ourselves that makes our scene strong, and it’s the differences in preference that both define and unite us.
I’m fearful that beer-style-specific holidays like IPA Day and International Stout Day have the potential to cross the line and attack that fundamental right. If someone doesn’t like IPA’s, why should they feel alienated? Likewise, if someone likes IPA’s but a nice Belgian, Sour or Bourbon Barrel Stout they’ve been dying to try is also on tap, why shouldn’t they be encouraged to try what excites and appeals to them as an individual and not what some made-up holiday tells them to drink? Isn’t telling people what to drink the very offense that drove most of us away from the Budweiser, Miller and Coors culture in the first place?
Furthermore, why can’t Stout day and IPA day be every day? What happens tomorrow? Do we drainpour the dankness? Abandon the ABV? Or do we leave no IBU behind? I’m confused myself, so I can’t help but wonder what people new to this growing scene think. The commodity of these events has mass marketing appeal, but also feels fake and forced. Without an emphasis on continued growth and real culture, we may head down a road we can’t ever return from.
Maybe I’m overanalyzing it. I am planning to head to a great event tonight at my favorite place in the world, my local taproom. When I get there, I’m looking forward to trying some new-to-me beers and some old favorites, but, more than that, I’m looking forward to seeing friends. If the hoppy offerings sound appealing, I’ll probably quaff a sample or even a pint or two. But I’ll also try my best to make others feel welcome, to discuss the latest trends or exciting events, and to focus on and contribute to *beer culture*, not just IPA culture.
If You Enjoyed this Post, Let Me Suggest:
- International Beer Festival Information & Giveaway! International Beer Fest is Back for Another Round May in Cleveland means one thing for craft beer lovers – The I-X Center proudly announces the return of International Beer Fest, the largest showcase and competition of world beers in the Midwest, held May 11 & 12, 2012, at the I-X Center in Cleveland. The event [...]...
- Fun at the Second Annual International Beer Festival The 2012 edition of the largest competition and lineup of beers in the Midwest is now in the books and a great time was had by all. The festival poured over 700 different kinds of beer and featured row after row of great stands featuring awesome brews in the cavernous IX Center. Check out who won medals and how we all won with such great beer!...