I’m kind of sick of my local beer. Blasphemy I know. #drinklocal is the banner cry of every beer city in the country. Every local bar proudly displays their ever growing list of local taps, spanning the entire length of the bar. It’s farm to glass at it’s finest. And why wouldn’t you want a nice cold brew that’s literally brewed right down the street. The only way to get it fresher would be to visit the brewery taproom itself.
Bars in beer cities tend to forget that variety is the spice of life. Shaking things up and having new experiences is what it’s all about. It’s like if your girlfriend insists on missionary with the lights off as your sole form of fornication. It’s still enjoyable, but I never thought getting drunk or my rocks off could be so boring. I may enjoy the local award winning session grapefruit IPA, but maybe, just maybe, I’d like the option for something else. Only serving local is akin to only drinking Coors Light….shudder.
Okay, to be honest, I’ve rarely been to bars that only JUST serve local beers. I have seen them, but they’re the minority. The most prevalent problem is bars being so local centric that the majority of the taps are local, and the ones that aren’t are uninspired at best. 90 beers I can get at every bar in the city, and then Sierra Nevada or Sam Adams seasonals is frightfully common.
By and large, there’s really no excuse for it either. Micro breweries have led very successful campaigns to open of the distribution laws in our country. Access to an ever expanding menu of beer is becoming less and less of and issue. So where does the issue of an uninspired tap list come from? I truly believe it’s the whole “buy local” mindset so proudly touted by the “Keep Insert City Here Weird” crowd. Locally made and produced by the honest, hard working folk of…wherever. How can this be a bad thing?
On the surface it makes perfect sense. If its grown, produced and sold locally, the money stays local. Perfect circle of economics. Things are rarely so simple. Local producers are hardly as efficient as big ones. So it takes more to produce less, causing a greater environmental impact. Also, local goods are usually more expensive because it is difficult for smaller producers to achieve “economies of scale” because not enough of them can be produced. Or to put it more simply, the more you make, the less expensive each individual unit.
I’m not trying to give an economics lesson. All I really want is variety in my beer selection at my local watering hole. How is this achieved? What is the Golden Ratio? I humbly submit that it’s a 50/50 split between local and non-local. A rotating selection is key as well. If I can’t get the same beer I always have with my basket of wings with the flaming butthole sauce, I might actually have to branch out a little. Perish the thought.
Change is good. beer is good. So does change=beer? Okay, maybe I’m stretching, but lets expand our horizons just a tad. However, definitely don’t go and try to talk to the cute girl at the end of the bar. That would just be nuts.