Earlier this summer when Ginny asked me if I would introduce her to craft beer I thought maybe she was setting me up for one of those prank shows. Since the day we met its been like a brother and sister bickering when it came to the best fermented beverage. She loves Zima and me… well you know. A conversation wouldn’t last more than a few minutes before she’d get me fired up over her love for the now extinct clear malt beverage (well here in the states at least. you can still buy it overseas). Even if she never said it I know she would shoot me looks saying “Hey Doug, this beer has lime and salt in it. YUM!”
We finally found time in our crazy parental schedules to meet up at Bocktown and let the lessons begin. How’d it go? Well you can either read “PittGirl Discovers Craft Beertopia” online or pick up the August issue of Pittsburgh Magazine which is now available on newsstands.
I don’t think what I did was anything more than what most craft beer fans would do. I absolutely love talking about craft beer and seeing the look in someone’s face when they have that “ah ha” moment. As advocates for craft beer it is up to us to sit down and talk to people less familiar with our favorite beverages and talk them through the beer. What do you smell? taste? breathe in when you drink and see if that changes the flavor.
There is a serious problem right now with, as sickpuppy and I like to call them, “Beer Snob Bitches”. This isn’t the beer geek that has a cellar full of homebrewing gear and aging bottles. I’m talking about the jerks whom belittle you because you’re not “at their level”. They’re all over the place and quite frankly give the rest of us a bad name. So what if you can pick out the yeast strain or all 7 of the hops used? No one cares but you. The elitism in a lot of circles is getting out of hand and it needs to end.
Craft beer is for celebration. Its for the appreciation of hard work, passion and craftsmanship. Craft beer is meant for YOU to enjoy and not for others to tell you what you should or shouldn’t like. There is a handful of new breweries opening in the Pittsburgh region this year and next. This area is a hotbed for incredible homebrewers and now they’re taking the jump from passion into career.
On the flip side I see a lot of reverse asshattery from the macro drinkers. Those who are hardcore Bud/Miller/Coors drinkers who put down craft beer fans because we like a higher quality beverage. They’re usually the ones saying you’re drinking a chick beer or “oohhh you’re all fancy” because they don’t understand craft beer and use the high school thug attitude of what they don’t know must be stupid.
Craft beer is genderless. There are plenty of great craft brewers who are women and in fact when this country was founded who do you think it was making the beer? Take a look at “Put the ‘ale’ back in female.” and read about a view of brewing you may not have considered before.
Will Ginny become a homebrewer? Eh could happen but for now chalk one up for the birth of a new fan. We’re not going to win over the entire beer drinking population but we can chip away at it one at a time.