GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR BEER
Before you even begin reading this post, let me set the stage: I’m not here to name names, point fingers, or put anyone on blast. If you’re looking for insider industry drama, you’ve come to the wrong place.
With that said, and at the risk of sounding like a complete douchebag, here we go.
The past year has seen a shit load of new faces enter the craft beer market here in Massachusetts (with us being one of them). What’s even crazier is that there are hundreds more companies waiting in the wings for more capacity to open so they too can bring new beer to market. Nationally, there are around 1,000 breweries in planning. Growth which is by all measures unprecedented. To me, this is super exciting — we’re literally breaking the ceiling and headed into uncharted territory. That’s legitimately cool and great for craft beer.
It also makes me nervous. Why, you ask?
No – It’s not about competition.
No – It’s not about saturation.
It’s about people’s motives for making beer.
I’m thinking ahead here. Making full flavored, hand crafted beer of exceptional quality is what got craft beer to where it is today. THE BEER IS ALWAYS FIRST. If someone asks you why you want to make beer, your answer needs to be “because it’s my passion”. If the word “money” is anywhere in your answer, I think I speak for everyone in the community when I humbly say:
GET THE FUCK OUT
Seriously. Aside from it being laugh worthy (there aint a whole lotta dough in this business, boys and girls), it’s completely against what I think craft beer should stand for. Don’t half ass it and slap a recipe together just to have a beer in market. If someone tries your beer and thinks it’s shit, not only does it reflect poorly on you, but it’s also is a strike against craft beer as a whole.
Multiply this by a thousand different beers/breweries and suddenly you’re changing the image of the entire craft beer segment. Newcomers to drinking craft beer may be put off and tempted to continue drinking their cheap American lagers because, hey, at least they’re consistent. I know this sounds weird coming from a guy who’s only been doing this professionally for about a year, but I love what I do. I love craft beer and I am personally, physically, and emotionally “all-in” on the craft beer revolution.
Put it this way, if I hit the lottery tomorrow (maybe I should start playing before I entertain the fantasy of hitting a jackpot) I would still brew beer. I just love it — I consider it my purpose to educate people about great beer and reclaim American beer. Plain and simple. A lot of us leave other career options behind (for me, a comfortable lucrative one, at that) to do what we’re passionate about.
PLEASE, share this passion with us. I’m not the only one who feels this way either. This year at the Craft Beer Conference in San Diego, Paul Gatza (Director of the Brewer’s Association) said something similar, and I’ve since heard it repeated by Greg Koch of Stone Brewing:
“If your number one concern about beer isn’t quality, get out right now”
Amen to that.
On the flip side, if you’re passionate about making great beer and want to share it with the world — well fuck, come on in! Let me get you a pint or two… just please:
GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR BEER