Do you seek out local beer?
If so, why?
If no, why?
As of today, here’s what Dictionary.com informs:
Where does beer fit? And does a definition of local matter to you?
Local is, to me, more of a concept.
It’s about what’s close by, what’s been made or imported by a neighbor – do you support your ‘local’ coffee shop? Great – unless you live in a coffee growing area of the world, the beans sure as heck aren’t local. So why does that fit for you (if it does)? Local grocer? Local mechanic? Local bakery? Cheese maker? Tailor? HVAC tech? Same idea…they may live locally or be based in a locale close to you, yet the totality of their operations rarely stand on an island of local only.
As for beer, yes, you likely have a local brewery. The majority of the American population has one within 10 miles of their home.
Beer is made of 4 primary ingredients: water, grain, hops and yeast. So what kind of grain is in the beer you enjoy and where is it grown? How about the hops? The major hops growing regions of the country are few and far (literally) between; does that affect what beer you choose, if you aim for local? Yeast – well, some breweries harvest some of their yeast to re-pitch in subsequent batches. And when they need new yeast, where does it come from? Do you know where brewers get their yeast?
The term “locals’ blindness” is a new one to me and I thought it an intriguing concept. From what I gather, having locals’ blindness means you’re blind to what is outside your own definition of what is local (chime in if you can help me out here). When we think of beer, it would seem that some people shun their own locals’ blindness when a local brewery chooses to sell to another company.
Does that make it less local? I don’t think so. Does it change the business? Well of course it does; how could it not. Yet if it’s still in the same locale, it can still be local to many.
That’s why I think it’s a sticky, overused and oft-misused word.
I notice when local is used and, all the same, I don’t get too caught up in what is advertised as local; it’s always been a global economy. And as long as we use salt in our diet, drink coffee and tea, and want beer in our glass, we’ll participate in the agricultural and product-creating world at large.
Cheers to local, whatever it may be for you.
Here’s a good read as it relates to focusing your dietary intake on local.