The "Right" Way to Support Craft Beer?

Reads 889 • Replies 5 • Started Wednesday, August 18, 2010 4:37:27 AM CT

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My wife and I just finished watching "Beer Wars" last night. Even though we both didn’t enjoy the movie as a whole, we both thought that Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head) was endearing and loved his family.

Our evening conversation centered around the treatment of craft beer, and importance of loyalty to a small number of breweries.

I usually don’t drink the same beer twice, opting to try many different craft beers. As a result, I spend very little of my money on any particular brewery. However, there are local places I frequent to get these beers, such as Sergio’s, and I always add beer information and places here on Ratebeer. I have a very limited amount to spend on craft beer each month, so I try to spread it around.

My wife called me out for not supporting a particular craft brewery with my funds. She said that I lack loyalty and so forth, and that my beer drinking is self serving. That I "should desire to support Sam and his family".

So... whose side are you on? Is my wife right? Or, is my current way of supporting craft beer sufficient?

beers 999 º places 47 º 11:29 Wed 8/18/2010

As far as your duty to support Sam and his family, that’s just a bit silly in my mind. The dude has plenty of money and support, and even if you did buy his beer religiously, your investment would be like tossing him spare change at the end of the month. If you really want to be knit picky about who you throw your money to, then invest it in a local brewery that you like, whose staff you have gotten to know, and who could use to money to keep producing.

As far as enjoying multiple different beers and breweries, as opposed to sticking to one or a few: rateberians are unique. We are a rare breed and certainly a very small minority in the craft beer audience. Thus, when such a small group of customers decide to shop around a lot as opposed to giving loyalty to a few breweries, our actions are not proving economically detrimental to anyone... we are sharing the monetary love. Additionally, you can see your ratings as a way of helping companies that you might like to support religiously, were it not for your desire to try lots of new beers. For, your rating of these beers and companies that you enjoyed will contribute to boosting (or reaffirming their already good) reputation.

On the whole, I’d have to disagree with your wife’s perspective. Sure, if you want to be loyal to a few companies, then by all means do so, but there should be no sense of obligation to do so. That being said, I do have my own local loyalties (cumberland, NABC, Keg Liquors, and Sergio’s). Despite the fact that I will submit plenty of new ratings per week from non-local breweries from all over the world, I still make a point to visit these companies. If I want fresh local beer, I go to NABC or Cumberland. If I want to tick or find an exotic beer, I go to Keg Liquors and Sergio’s. Thus, I guess you could say that I am loyal to these companies while still maintaining my ticking agenda. No harm no foul in my mind.

If anything, my biggest loyalty is to AMERICAN beer, not only for the freshness factor, but also for some sense of patriotism. I also think that, generally speaking, we make the best beer

That’s what I’m saying:

I "religiously" rate my beers AND unless they are a gift, I tag where they came from. I have also added like ten or so locations to our metro, and a few outside of the area as well. I was even nerdy enough to take pictures of beer menus at places so I could add beers to that location on this site.

I think she’s just mad that she’s wrong. She doesn’t like being wrong...

beers 999 º places 47 º 17:52 Wed 8/18/2010

I forgot to mention Louisville Beer Store also has my loyalty. Just got back from it actually. This is what I love about having LBS and Keg Liquors so close-- though LBS is closer to me, I can get stuff at Keg Liquors that isn’t available here in Kentucky. Thanks god HotD is in Indiana now!

Plus KL isn’t all that much farther for me. WIN WIN

beers 999 º places 47 º 17:53 Wed 8/18/2010

Originally posted by Ryan82SM

I think she’s just mad that she’s wrong. She doesn’t like being wrong...

beers 325 º places 13 º 07:31 Fri 8/20/2010

I think your are supporting craft beer when you spread the wealth to multiple brands. I have personal favorites that I can always go to, but part of the fun of craft beer is the fact that there is so much variety to choose from. BMC drinkers drink their particular beer and nothing else, whereas craft beer drinkers have a wealth of beers to choose from. As much as I like BBC APA, that does not mean that I can only drink it. I like to show my love to Brownings, NABC, Cumberland, Bells, Upland, 3 Floyds, etc too. Variety is the spice of life, get out and support what you can.