If you’ve made your way to this website, I’m assuming you love craft beer just as much as I do. I’m guessing that you delight in everything from the range of flavours and colours to the art that goes on the bottles, and everything that comes in between.
But, I sometimes wonder: why do we actually love craft beer so much in the first place? There are probably a hundred different answers to this question, but here are a few that speak to me personally…
Craft Beer Has (and Expresses) Individual Style
I’ve never been one to follow the crowd, and ordering a mass-produced lager just isn’t my style. I think there’s a subtle counter-culture membership that comes with drinking craft beer, an implicit sense that there might be something more (and better) than what you can get from following the herd.
There are actual taste-related reasons to love the individuality of craft beer, as well. While most common beers are going to go well enough with most common meals, opting for a craft beer gives you the chance to find the perfect pairing.
Who doesn’t want to show off their own style, enjoy their favourite flavours, and complement a meal with the perfect drink?
You Can Enjoy Classic Craftsmanship
Call me sentimental, but there is something special about products that are made by hand, using traditional methods. Unfortunately, that’s not a combination you find very much in the modern world. On the contrary, it’s not unusual to see products for sale that are manufactured to look like they were custom-built, even though they obviously weren’t.
With a good craft beer, however, you can actually taste the work, effort, and even love that went into every batch and bottle. That doesn’t always make for a perfectly consistent taste, but it does give you a bigger appreciation for every note and impression.
Craft Breweries are Local and Ethical
At a time when more and more of us are questioning the ethics and morals associated with the way large corporations do business, it can feel like a bit of relief to do business with a “brewery down the block.” The owners might not be getting rich from their beer – in fact brewing might even be a hobby – but they are driven by a sense of fun and passion, not the demands of shareholders and the bottom line.
Even in the rare instances where craft breweries are profitable businesses, they usually aren’t started (or run) with financial figures in mind. It’s always nice to support a local company and/or growing enterprise, especially when you consider some of the alternatives.
Craft Breweries Put out Great Beer With Unique Taste
I have yet to ever taste craft beer and think that it reminds me of Molson’s, or that it doesn’t have any flavour at all. For better or worse, each one has a distinctive taste. So, even if you don’t enjoy a particular bottle or paint, you experience something that’s new and unique.
Some beer drinkers can go an entire evening without ever thinking about what they are tasting. That’s fine, if you like the comfortable and mundane. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to try new things and see where they lead, craft beers offer an endless variety of choice.
The Craft Brewers Themselves Have Great Personality
If you watch sporting events, or probably any kind of television at all, you’re familiar with the standard template for marketing beer. Show some people having fun, maybe at a concert or on the beach, and pair it with some loud music and more than a few obnoxious smiles.
Craft breweries are different, and they present themselves differently. Along with unique beers and flavours, each brings their own personality and philosophy to the table. You can see this not just in their choice of recipes, but the art they use on their bottles and the way they describe their creations.
To me, certain craft brewers are almost like old friends. I love their style, their visual sense, and even the way they promote their different beers. I look forward to new batches, wondering how they will have changed from one season to the next, or if a new employee or ingredient will introduce a subtle twist to a once-familiar bottle.
Maybe the question isn’t why we love craft beer, but how we could manage not to love craft beer. There are just so many different aspects of the experience – from looking at the different choices to buying a bottle and having it taste – that makes trying them enjoyable.
If you love craft beer the way I do, I’d love to hear from you. Better yet, I’d love to know what it is you love most about it. Why not share your thoughts in the comments?