There was an article in Sunday’s paper that I found rather interesting, though it was picked up off the wire from AP and so has no set "home" online. So, here’s the article from a Toledo paper (first result I plucked from Google News): Wine country too snooty? Brewery hopping provides alternative.
Although beer lacks a major destination such as Napa Valley, many beer aficionados are taking vacations that are more like extended beer runs, visiting the nation’s many craft breweries, brewpubs, and beer festivals.
Beer appreciation is a transformation in progress. Beer is evolving from a working-class beverage guzzled out of a can to something that’s judged, critiqued, and enjoyed with food by discriminating connoisseurs.
“I feel like we’re on the edge of a cultural shift — people are starting to understand beer styles now and learning about variety and diversity,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, which represents 983 U.S. breweries.
While many casual beer drinkers wouldn’t know an India pale ale (characterized by hoppy bitterness and higher alcohol content) from a Belgian-style ale (a citrus-tinged, spicy taste), he’s encouraged by the growing number of people visiting breweries and festivals.
Nothing earth-shaking here, I just enjoyed the article, and I think it gives beer a much fairer shake than much of the inflammatory stuff that’s appeared lately that’s gotten the bloggers riled up. It’s also much smarter written than the usual beer article you see out there. Worth a read.
One minor quibble—they only have two things listed for "West Coast"? (Oregon Brewers Festival and AleSmith Brewing.) Come on! I can rattle off five or six breweries and events off the top of my head that are West Coast biggies, and are absolutely destination-worthy.
Examples? Aside from the two they mentioned, how about Stone Brewing, 21st Amendment, Rogue Ales, the Pelican Pub, anywhere in Portland, Pike Brewing, and Elysian Brewing? Or the Organic Brewers Festival, the Belgian Beer Fest, and the Pumpkin Beer Festival?
On the other hand, that’s what all these blogs are for…