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Local is in the eye of the beer-holder

Think globally, act locally. But local isn't what it use to be. Especially when it comes to bars and beers.

Let's take a trip with the Ghost of Taverns Past. Away we go, into a dark, dingy bar. The jukebox plays records. Every song sounds like they recorded it with a popcorn popper in the studio. The TV. Singular, TV, had a game on. Smoke filled the room. Food was a bowl of salty peanuts or, if you wanted to pay for it, a bag of chips. And the beer list could be recited in one breath, along with the score of the game and last night's gossip. As for the word "Local". Back then the word was a noun. Ask your bartender for something local and you'd find his finger pointing to the regulars drinking at the bar from a brown longneck bottle with a red, white and blue label.

Flash to the Ghost of Taverns Present. That dark bar is now airy with dramatic lighting. The jukebox was replaced by a iPod that plays clearer than if the artist was playing right in front of you. The TV's, plural now. In fact, there are so many TV's that not only is every sport know to man on a TV, some of the TV's have the same game on. The only smoke in the place is used to cook food that was prepared by a classically trained chef. Ask for a beer list. Now the finger pointing begins. But this time the bartender, excuse me, mixologist, points at the billboard sized chalkboard with made up "hop" words. Like Hoptimum, Hopzilla, Hoptimus Prime, Hopagedon or Hopslam. So many to read, when you're done you'll have to go see a Hoptomertrist... Sorry, an Optomertrist...You get the point. And ask for something "local". Now the word is an adjective. Captain Lawrence, Peekskill Brewery, Broken Bow, Brooklyn, the list goes on and on.

Now flash again to the Ghost of Taverns Future. And with a new brewery opening up everyday, one would think that bars in the future will be chock filled with local offerings so vast that one could drink a local beer everyday for a lifetime and never have the same beer twice. Charles Darwin would beg to differ. While local beer is fresh, just because it's local, doesn't mean it's good. Survival of the fittest will prevail.

And in the long run, that small local beer today, might just be the corporate macro of tomorrow. But who cares, it's beer.

Think globally, act locally, drink good beer, tip your bartender and everything will be ok.


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