Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Things I Saw - Part the Eighth

I was headed home and stopped for gas.

It used to be that craft beers, the kind where there is a limited distribution and only a few hundred bottles are brewed, were the stuff of legend and then, only within a certain location. I grew up with regional beers; Hamms, Blatz, Old Style for awhile until they became the "official" beer of the Chicago Cubs for a time, and a very, very regional beer, Dubuque Star, which was definitely an acquired taste in beer. These smaller brewers were good for the local and regional economy. If you were interested in sampling local cuisine, adding a local brew to your breaded pork tenderloin sandwich gave you a taste of life in that part of the country. But start talking about them outside their region and people gave you a blank stare. Even within their region, particularly the case with Dubuque Star, they weren't well known outside of, say, 50 miles from Dubuque. These kinds of beers were more like the bathtub gin of prohibition era, made for a very limited audience.

As tastes changed and profits fell, these brewers declined and went out of business, taking decades of knowledge with them. People came to assume the Budweisers, Millers, Coors of brewing were the only beers to be consumed. So clear, you can read a newspaper through them, we were told this was the beer wave of the future, the best we could have.

Slowly, however, this attitude has changed. Regional and local brewers are back. Some don't make it. Some do. In the, now, over a year since alcohol was removed from my life, I've found more and more uniquely named breweries popping up. And those are the beers I gravitate towards. Weird name doesn't always indicate quality, but, hey, I'll drink something called Smuttynose before a Budweiser. Supposedly, Smuttynose is in Illinois.

Since I can't have alcohol, would someone try this and let me know how it tastes? I certainly like the graphic on the side of the truck.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


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