Posted on June 23rd, 2011
Its been just about two months since I returned to Boston from my glorious beer adventures, and writing for Beeriety has given me a great space to process everything I experienced. So in my final “Beer, There, and Everywhere” post, I wanted to share the things from my trip that have been most significant since coming back to the Boston beer community.
1. A Community of Respect and Passion
It is obvious to most that the craft beer industry hosts a particularly incredible community of people, but I was so impressed with the level of respect and passion that brewers, beer drinkers, and everyone in between embodied. Competition between breweries (if there is any) is completely friendly, and more often than not you hear of collaboration and sharing amongst brewers. It is a group of people who genuinely love what they do, and want to share that with their peers, and support others in doing the same. This is like nothing else I’ve seen, and it is a beautiful, albeit small, collection of people.
2. Keeping it Simple
On every brewery tour I attended, the first question from the guides was “what are the four ingredients required to make beer?” And without fail, the answer is always water, malted barley, hops, and the ever-important yeast. It is a small and wonderful reminder of the simplicity of the drink that so many millions of people enjoy, and a testament to the talent of craft brewers across the US and the world. An easily forgotten, but in my opinion crucial tenet that makes craft brewing so amazing.
3. Something for Everyone
In visiting so many different breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars, I saw an immense amount of diversity that was both incredible and occasionally overwhelming. Whether bitter, malty, hoppy, spicy, citrus, light, clean, dark, heavy, creamy, roasted, grassy, high-alcohol or low, there is a little something for everyone, even those most skeptical of what beer has to offer. Craft beer is a drink for all, it knows no bounds or limits, and this, culturally speaking, is nothing short of phenomenal.
In all likelihood, nothing I’ve listed above is new or surprising, but these were the things that I found to most impressive during my travels. The history, the culture, the people, the opportunity, and the beer are what make me love the craft beer industry so immensely. Experiencing this across the US in 8 states, 14 cities, and 22 different breweries only helped my love to grow exponentially. So now I’ll move on to Denver, in hopes of becoming even more immersed in the world of brewing and craft beer. I encourage everyone to become more involved in this wonderful community; start homebrewing, go to a craft beer event, visit a brewery, join a craft beer club, or simply fill your glass with a tasty beer that was created with great dedication and skill.