Craft Beer Initiative – Prologue

“Beer is proof that God loves us.” – Ben Franklin

Regardless of the accuracy of that quote, the fact that a founding father made the effort to say it (or for someone to make it appear that he had) shows us that beer is widely regarded as wonderful and beautiful thing.  Believe it or not beer is largely responsible for the way that we see the world today.  Beer was used to pay the laborers who constructed the pyramids of Egypt, its anti-pathogenic properties have gotten us through times of epidemic, and it’s rumored that the Mayflower decided to land at Plymouth Rock because all the beer had been drank.  Therefore it is only natural that beer is a staple at almost every tailgate party…ever.

Beer, of course, is often times one of the 1st things we make sure is in the cooler before we head out to the lot.  However the unfortunate truth is that most of us only focus on the idea of beer, not what the beer actually is.  What I mean by this is that a beer run for a majority of shoppers is simply grabbing a red, blue, or silver case and heading to the checkout.  As long as it’s in the cooler when we hit the road, or in the fridge after a long day, we don’t really care what it is.

Up until very recently that’s exactly how I saw it.  I say recently because one of my resolutions for the new year was to really change my approach to beer drinking.  Instead of focusing on quantity I decided it was time for me to focus on the quality of my brew.  I resolved to drink craft beer almost exclusively.  Not because I’m a snob, but instead because I just like it more.  I figure that there isn’t point in going through life being somewhat satisfied, when I could make an easy change to something more fulfilling.  Since I decided to do this I’ve been much happier.

If by this point you’re wondering what “craft” beer is, I had better define it.  The Brewers Association uses the words “small, independent, and traditional.”  Small refers to the production output, traditional refers to the use of malt to provide a majority of the fermentables in a beer, and independent refers to ownership of the brewery.  The last part is probably the simplest way to convey the message.  My personal opinion is that craft beer is made by anyone other than Anheuser-Busch/InBev, MillerCoors, or their subsidiaries.  Of course my opinion is not the same as everyone else, and I recognize that those companies make good products in that they’re consistent, affordable, and widely available.

So why am I telling you all this? After I made the switch I decided rather than keep the joy to myself I decided that I would write a series of posts on making the transition to craft brew.  More specifically how it can improve your tailgates, the benefits that it can have, and finally to see if we can take the whole concept to new levels.  What I’m not going to do is write a lot of beer reviews.  Truthfully I’ve found that my beer reviews are only good for me, and that isn’t saying much.  If you’re into beer reviews,  Mike did a good number of them a while back so feel free to check those out here.

In the next post of this series we’ll cover the benefits that craft beer can have, and some good starters for those of you who are ready to make the transition to craft beer tailgating.  If you have ideas, input, or just want to voice your views you can leave a comment or shoot me an email at brandon  {at}