Screwed Up Beer Week (vol 14) - This Beer Is My Beer, This Beer Is Your Beer...
Written By: Kevin Patterson on 04/10/2014
"This Beer Is My Beer, This Beer Is Your Beer... This Beer Was Made For You And Me"
Ok, a serious mob of sports fans walk into a bar... and they were rowdy, and raucous and destructive, loud, obnoxious, demanding, irrational, and... in all actuality, they were not any of that at all. They were polite, courteous, respectful and patient. What's up with that? ...after all, we are a craft beer bar, right?
This isn't supposed to be the craft beer demographic at all. These are sports fans. What the hell are they doing ordering lambic, tripels and bocks (ooh, my!) ...and as this new group of customers stomp into the place like banshees, perhaps the better question is, "Where are my regulars?"
These guys and gals aren't my regulars. They have blue and white jerseys. (By the way, this is not a good look for the guys. Gals, you're good to go!) These folks have caps, they're carrying flags, good-luck socks and some of them haven't bathed or shaved for a solid month, hoping to bring their team some luck in that big 'ole tournament. They certainly didn't look anything like the fine folks that would normally grace us with their presence on these otherwise typical weekend nights.
None of these guys had tailored flannel shirts. None of them wore those old-school artist caps that you can now buy at the Gap. None of them wore expensive shoes that were supposed to look like that. And those pegged jeans. None of them had Miracle Grow beards. Where are my hipsters? I kind of like it when my bar looks like there's a train conducting seminar in town. Nope, these folks in my bar tonight were not my hipsters.
Nor were they the original hipsters- the hippies. We get our share of those; the ones with un-tailored flannel and they have been wearing them since the sixties. They are the ones that smell like like cigarette smoke, cabbage and gym socks- and not on purpose. The one's that are a craft beer away from homelessness. Nope, didn't see them either.
Or, where's my pocket protectors? Or those cool, geeky glasses when they don't know that they are cool? Where's my calculators and sentence fragments? Where's the talk of IBU, SRM, OG and FG? Where's my homebrewers?
And then where's my professional ranks? You know, the doctors, lawyers, accountants and architects that we would all vote, "Most Likely to Live in a Tepee?" Where are they?
Where's the cherry-pickers? The one's who are only satisfied with beers on BeerAdvocate's "Top 100" list and contains more rarity than they do any other ingredient?
Or the ones who look like girls, who look guys, who look like girls? Where are the ones who bowl really well, can probably parallel park a semi-tractor trailer and brag about their callouses? Where are my lesbians?
The socialites- where are they? The ones who dance around to each and every hot spot of the moment; the ones who scour the weekender section of their local newspaper to find out where they have just got to be seen at next. We get them for just a brief pint, but where are they tonight?
But as I look above the blue and the white, their faces become familiar. Sure, there's a smattering of those tree-huggers, engineers, hipsters, gays, socialites and snobs mixed around the crowd, but they are simply in different costume. And then something profound dawned on me...
Craft beer simply has no demographic! Sure the hipster has become the poster child for the craft beer culture, but most folks who enjoy all those fine libations that we dole out aren't really part of any prescribed stereotype at all. They are just people- common folk, men and women who simply enjoy good beer. If there are a million craft beer drinkers in the United States, then there are a million different craft beer cultures. What do ya know, craft beer is for the common man after all! And hope for humanity is once again restored. They're just all wearing a different costume tonight.
And that's what I learned in this (less-than) screwed up beer week!