They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Friday, 2 March 2012

Local - Good or Bad?

This month's session will be undertaken whilst on a session of local beers in my home. Hosted by Hoosier Beer Geek, the title of this topic is "What makes local beer better?"

I'd prefer to talk about both the good and bad points about local beer as it relates to my experience of.... well; local beer.

I am a firm believer that local beer certainly does have both good and bad points. Let's start with the one of the good points I hear many people talking about; 'Freshness'. When it comes to fresh beer, obviously if it doesn't have to travel far to get to you, or was bottled/casked not to long ago, it will taste better than if it was older. This is only a minor point though, and is something that (most of the time) applies to beers with a more, hop forward, recipe. Some beers aren't meant to be drunk fresh, and could stand some cellaring before consumption. This moves me onto a bad point about freshness. I've drunk some beers in my time, by brewers who've been too quick to get their beers into the pub/shop, and they haven't had the full, proper time to condition. This is where freshness becomes detrimental to beer. If a brewery is only down the road, that doesn't mean it should be selling you it's beers as soon as it comes out of the fermenter, straight for consumption - all beer requires a little bit of sitting time. Some people may be quick to get their casks/bottles out ASAP, as keeping them at a brewery costs lots of time/money/space. It doesn't make for a good beer.

My 3 local ales for the evening 
A good point that some take from local beer is about community. And yes it is a great thing. We all should be supporting our local businesses and helping them grow. After all if we don't, they won't be there for long; something I have unfortunate first hand experience with. The bad thing about this though, is that living around Yorkshire, there are so many new and cool breweries opening up these days that it's hard to choose who to go with. And unfortunately, sometimes some people can be given a bit of a back seat. I'm all up for supporting local businesses, but it's just hard to know which sometimes.

I'm trying to keep things brief tonight because I could easily go on and on about this, but I can leave it as such:

I not sure if there's a definitive answer to why local beer is better. In fact I don't think local beer is better. I've had many a crap pint from a brewery within walking distance from the pub I drank it in. But it's not all like that though. I've had so much good beer from fantastic local breweries which I'm very proud to call my local breweries, but then again I've also had similar experiences from breweries which I can't call my locals.

I can tell you the best part about local brewers though: Working at Beer Ritz, there's no better thing than calling up a brewery and asking for some of their beers, and having said beers delivered to your shop doors the very next day!

- That's the real bonus of having local beer!

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