Why I Do (and Don’t) Want More People to Like Craft Beer

[Enter obligatory sentence(s) on the growth of craft beer]. With that being the case, I have reasons why I do and don’t want more people to like craft beer. Let’s start with the don’ts — the thoughts people won’t say out loud.

The Unheard of Band Effect

I wasn’t here first. My love of craft beer is still in it’s infancy. This blog that I started in January was my way of trying to embrace and expand my love of the stuff. But I was a part of the movement before the person discovering craft beer today was. And that upsets me, and probably you, a bit. I call it the “unheard of band effect.”

The unheard of band effect is what happens when a band you’ve been listening to for some time suddenly becomes popular. Fun.. Mumford and Sons. M83. [Insert your favorite former unheard of band here]. They become mainstream and what happens? You try to justify how you listened to them for years. You even have some rare EP with a live version of their new single that’s being played on the radio but what happens? No one cares. The band grows, still creating great music, and your roommate who would yell about that noise you used to play now proudly touts a t-shirt with the band on it. You’re left with two options. 1) Abandon the band you’ve been loyal to for years and move onto a different band or 2) sigh, suck it up, and continue listening to them and cheer on their successes.

I’ve straddled that line with bands many times but ultimately I tend to choose option 2. I don’t think this is far from happening with craft beer though. I already see craft beer lovers slowly starting to dabble in other spirits like whiskey. There’s nothing wrong with whiskey (it’s my liquor of choice when I go that route) but I don’t want people who have been with craft beer for years to choose option 1 and move onto a different band. They’ve been loyal to “the cause” of craft beer and their experience is needed while more and more people enter into our niche.

Why I do want more people into craft beer

I don’t really not want more people liking and getting into craft beer. The “unheard of band effect” example above is just some superficial, suppressed emotion that I think a lot of people, me included, have. But we can’t let it get in the way of the expanse of craft beer. Let’s all be option 2 people.

However, what I don’t want is craft beer becoming something that bothers me when I hear people talk about it. Let me explain…

I was at the Nationals game yesterday and the person behind me who “grew up watching baseball” knew “we need to take that dude out of the game” after the starter gave up two runs in through two innings. And the center fielder was not trying since he didn’t lay out on a shortly hit flyball to shallow center when the bases were empty and there were two outs. Chill. 1) They have real names. 2) You don’t pull a starter after giving up two runs in the first two innings. 3) The CF just had a 29-game hit streak snapped, reinvigorated the team over the past month doing so which got them into the playoff hunt, and will most likely win the Gold Glove award. Needless-to-say it only took a couple innings before I was running over to the beer line to fill up on $9 16oz Sam Adams.

I don’t want craft beer being overran with people who think they know beer and what and how it should taste. I don’t even know what it should taste like and I’d like to think I know a little more than the craft beer newbie. That’s what I don’t want. I don’t want to be sitting at a bar and listening to a guy in a pastel polo with crabs on their cloth belt bad mouth a perfectly fine beer. I can imagine it now… “I’m paying $7 for a beer that’s not cold?” “Bartender, there’s too much head on my beer.” “Why am I drinking out of a wine glass?”

This morning I asked for help on this topic on Twitter.

Here are a few responses:

Jeremy Danner, brewer at Boulevard made the best point:

The sarcastic, goat-loving father from the heartland is absolutely right. We don’t want craft beer to become wine. Let’s drink, share and laugh. Cheers.

What do you think? Do you want more people to like craft beer?

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TWIB – Homebrews, Hefeweizens and Time Travel

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

This week in beer was a homebrew and entertainment filled one. Had a friend’s homebrew, tried my newest homebrew for the first time and went to the ballpark.

Boeser Brau’s American Pilsner Homebrew

Even though I’m a homebrewer (yes, a new homebrewer but regardless) I haven’t had many other people’s homebrews outside of my own. He put mine to shame! I absolutely loved everything about this beer. From the golden, yellow color to the crisp Pilsner taste, keep up the great work, Scott!

21st Amendment Bitter American

There’s a new movie theater by me called the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema where they serve you dinner, beer, popcorn, etc. at your seat (pretty cool, right?). So my wife and I went to check it out on Friday and saw Gatsby. We got their carnivore pizza which I’ll rate a 9 out of 10, their chips with queso dip which I’ll give a 6 out of 10 and their popcorn — usual awesome theater popcorn. I also ordered a 21st Amendment Bitter American. I’ve had this before and it’s one of my go-to beers. It’s light, flavorful, low in alcohol at 4.4% and has some badass artwork like all the 21st Amendment cans. The theater itself serves many local beers — Starr Hill, Lost Rhino, Williamsburg Alewerks, DC Brau and more. It also has a bar inside called Glass Half Full Taproom. We poked out heads in and it looks cozy. Full bar with beer reasonably priced.

One more thing! This is in the new One Loudoun development and it looks like a Bar Louie going in soon. I’ve been to the one downtown and I can’t wait for one to be here.

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April Dirty Thirty Day 10 – Shipyard Brewing Export Ale

Today’s April Dirty Thirty craft beer review is on…

Shipyard Brewing Export Ale

Shipyard Brewing Export Ale, and yes that’s my 6-foot Nationals Stadium Fathead

Shipyard Brewing Export Ale

Critical Information:

  • 5.1% ABV
  • American Blonde Ale
  • Available Year Round

My Experience:


Poured from bottle into tall pilsner-type glass. It has a golden-straw color. Almost completely see-through. The tall glass makes watching the bubbles rise entertaining.


Malt, grains and a biscuit scent come through the most.


I get mostly toasted malt with some fruitiness. There is also some unexpected bitterness, a little too much for me, which appears at the end. The carbonation makes it feel “fuller” while you drink it — it’s like I try to take a gulp but it’s only a sip.


I would say something from my favorite food group — sandwiches. Some sort of grilled chicken with bacon and swiss panini? Anything from Spicy Pickle would be great. I just wish there still was one around here… Continue reading

April Dirty Thirty Day 3 – RJ Rockers Bald Eagle Brown Ale

Day three brings us…

RJ Rockers Bald Eagle Brown

RJ Rockers Bald Eagle Brown

RJ Rockers Bald Eagle Brown Ale

Critical Information:

  • 5.6% ABV
  • Available Year-round

My Experience:


Poured from bottle into snifter (I think — can someone confirm from the picture??). Lots of head on this one. Minimal carbonation. Dark brown color that you can almost see through.


I snort the head into my nostrils and get lots of chocolatey-malt goodness. Then cough. It’s worth it. I can also sense some caramel and earthiness.


It has a soft touch to the palate and the chocolate and maltiness really comes through. After you swallow the flavors dance around for a few seconds before easing away.


Despite the dark color and stylistic norms of a brown ale, this one is very light and airy. It’s not crisp like a pilsner but definitely one of the lighter brown ales I’ve had. I wouldn’t chug this beer but big gulps shouldn’t be shied away from.


Roasted duck with white rice and soy sauce, one of my wife’s favorites, would go great with this. I think duck tastes great with anything though. I could do a burger with this as well. Side note — if you live near Leesburg and haven’t been to Melt yet, stop reading this, get in the car and go. If it’s in the middle of the night bring a six-pack and tailgate outside until they open. Yeah, it’s that good.

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