I can't say it enough... craft beer is the present and the future. I know that innocuous term, "craft beer", gets bandied about a bit too often at times. But these days, it has come to define a new generation of beer drinkers in a way that "microbrew" never could. It's all in that first word: craft. This little word implies artistry, expertise, care, creativity, and most importantly, taste.
Because obviously, taste is what matters. People want to consume things that taste good. Of course, this is a subjective matter, but most folks would agree that a nice steakhouse serves better cuisine than a fast food chain. And that's the analogy I'm going with in regards to craft beer vs. the Big Three (Bud, Miller, Coors). Sure it costs more, but in my mind it's worth it.
And this is why the craft beer explosion is not a bubble... at least not yet. Because we, the discerning consumers, continue to demand a product that is delicious, fresh, and (oftentimes) local. And that is what we will be acknowledging during American Craft Beer Week. The growth and perseverance of an industry that provides the quality brews we want to drink.
The observance begins Monday, and over the next 7 days, from May 14th to 20th, beer-lovers, brewers, bars, and restaurants around the nation will be celebrating this phenomenon. Keep an eye on sites like Drink Baltimore and BeerinBaltimore.com for events to come. And visit your local beer bars (Max's, Racer's, Mahaffey's, Metropolitan) and brewpubs (Brewer's Art, Pratt Street Ale House, DuClaw) to see what sort of specials they will be offering.
So keep your eyes open the rest of the week for fantastic events all around the Baltimore area. Great happenings like the Heavy Seas wooden cask night at Max's Taphouse on Thursday the 17th, or the Columbia Craft Beer Festival at Clyde's on Saturday the 19th. And if you have some friends who aren't craft beer drinkers, this might be the perfect time to introduce them to the wonderful world of delicious brew. You may just open a few minds and help keep that bubble burst at bay for a while longer. And that means more tasty beer for everyone. And as I mentioned earlier, that's what craft is all about... Taste.
Drink well, my friends.