Sam Calagione and the Other 99%
There's a great little interview at the blog DCist with Sam Calagione, who apparently channels his inner Jeff Alworth. Or maybe I regularly (and unwittingly) channel Sam. Among the nuggets I found especially satisfying:
[B]eer people are cool people in general. We say our industry is 99 percent asshole free. So I probably do forget one of every hundred names of the person who was underwhelming. But everyone's so nice in this industry so I look forward to seeing them a second time.Comment: It's smart to say 99% about anything, just to keep a little daylight available. But I do think this will change as the industry moves from being animated almost exclusively by people passionate about beer to containing a mixture of those people along with others who just want to make a buck. For the moment, Sam's right--it is an incredibly likable group of people.
But the women I know don't want to be separated from the beer loving populace, in general. They want to be part of it.... I know tons of women who are way huge hop heads, and love dark, roasty beers. So I worry it perpetuates a stereotype that women's palates are less attuned to the more aggressive flavors in beer.Comment: This is one area in which craft breweries are decades ahead of macros. Of all the ways in which the "craft" and non-craft side differ, I'd say the biggest and most important is the enthusiasm craft breweries have in welcoming women.
I always have Saison Dupont in my house. I turned on my friends, who are not necessarily beer friends, who live in Lewes, the town I live in, to be excited when we pop a few corks of Saison Dupont. So that's definitely a favorite of mine.Comment: Anyone who loves Saison Dupont has unimpeachable taste in beer. It will be one of my highlights when I visit Europe to tour the brewery, which I'll do, rather poetically, on Thanksgiving day.
I play on an adult hockey league team. And every week it's one of my teammate's job to bring a 30 pack of cheap, cold cans of lager. And whatever one it is, whatever brand it is I look forward to having it. There's nothing like that light lager for refreshing after a hockey game. There's really not any other occasions in my week where I'm craving that kind of beer. But I'm a beer geek, not a beer snob. And all beer is good. And there's a time and place for any kind of beer.Comment: This will probably shock 120 IPA fans more than anything else Sam could say. There are lots of light lagers I still buy and enjoy, too, and it's nice to see a defense of them. Every summer, I drink a fair amount of Pacifico, which is certainly not a highbrow tipple. I recently had Sapporo for the first time in years and was reminded how much I love Japanese lagers. And I'll never turn down a Singha Beer ("Singha Beer, don't ask no questions; Singha Beer don't tell no lies").