10 Reasons to Care About Craft Beer
From the erudite to the socialite
During a pivotal point in my career, I decided to focus my writing by identifying a niche I could study deeply, building my credentials and better targeting my work. More than the writer’s adage “Write what you know,” I value its ancillary, “Write what you love.” (It’s easier to build knowledge than passion!) In seeking marketable niches that I loved, one topic I could pour myself into was craft beer.
Since then, my interest has become as much personal as professional. The income from writing about beer exceeds my research expenses, but not by a wealth-creating amount. Instead, I’m hooked by the depth and breadth of the topic and, more importantly, by the people.
Exploring this topic involves reading about the history – not just the explosion since Fritz Maytag bought Anchor Brewing in 1965 or President Jimmy Carter legalized home brewing in 1978, but way back to archaeological evidence of the barley-based fermented beverage in ancient, millennia-old pots and to Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer.
Understanding beer involves dissecting the brewing process, examining the masterful blend of creativity and science and learning how chemical and biological processes create a tasty (or not-so-tasty) end product.
What’s kept me hooked, though, is the community. As an industry, craft brewers tend to be a congenial bunch, supporting each other with knowledge, raw materials and attendance at special events. And as I attend events around town (never as many as I’d like!), I always find familiar, friendly faces: craft beer industry folks – brand reps, distributors’ staff, brewery and tasting room personnel, fellow beer writers and bloggers – and other beer fans. My thoughts (and my Facebook feed) are packed with people I’ve met since I started traveling the beer world, people I now consider friends.
And when I support the breweries, I’m not merely supporting local businesses – I’m supporting friends.
However, even though the typical 20-somethings and 30-somethings who tend to populate these events are open and welcoming to me (maybe I’m like a mom who’s cool enough to drink beer), one element is often missing: more boomers!
So in an effort to proselytize to my peers, I present:
10 Reasons Boomers Should Love Craft Beer
- Science shows that our senses of taste and smell fade as we age, so we should value flavorful beverages.
- It’s possible to improve one’s sense of smell, and smelling and tasting different scents (i.e., beer styles) helps.
- We’ve gotten over that youthful desire to imbibe simply to get drunk, so we focus on quality.
- With more than 100 recognized styles and multitudes of recipes and ingredient tweaks, there’s bound to be a flavor for you.
- Drinking local beer, at home or a taproom, provides an enjoyable way to support local businesses.
- Moderate alcohol consumption can offer health benefits.
- New experiences keep our minds active.
- Most brewery patios welcome your friendly pets, too.
- Craft breweries are a great place to hang out with younger family members (including grandkids).
- Brewery tasting rooms provide great opportunities to socialize, from visiting with friends to joining a brewery club to make new friends.
Republished on April 4, 2022. Originally published February 2017 to promote a BOOMER-sponsored beer educational event.