There are many types of craft drinkers out there and for the first few years after I discovered craft beer, I probably fell into the rare beer (sometimes known as White Whales in the beer community) hunter category. I spent a lot of time on BeerAdvocate hunting down top rated beers of a particular style or finding an extreme beer in terms of IBUs, ABV or rareness. I don’t have regrets about that part of my journey because it allowed my palette to be exposed to a spectrum of flavors I’d never experienced before. But over the past few months I have shifted both my perceptions and priorities on what craft beer means and I find myself evermore inclined to support the local (Indiana) beer scene.
A few weekends ago I volunteered at a conference for the Brewers of Indiana Guild, and just this past weekend I volunteered at a local craft beer festival. On both occasions I was able to see first-hand what a great community of breweries we have. This is not just true of Indiana but it’s very much an industry trend. It’s a culture where collaboration (more often than not) trumps competition and for a while that just seemed so counterintuitive to me.
Sure, I still maintain a cellar collection, and there some targeted beers that I want to age and look forward to trying in the future but the effort I put into trading, and seeking out rarities has severely diminished. My day-to-day interests and priorities are now much more focused on supporting Indiana Beer. I’ll always keep a pulse on what’s happening nationally and internationally in beer. I’m too much of a beer nerd and enjoy having diverse knowledge about the industry. I hope to experience beers from great breweries as I have the opportunity, but I no longer CHASE the beers. I want to find them, discover them—maybe as I travel and explore more of this country. It’s certainly made me more appreciative of the variety and quality beers I have in my own back yard.
I’ve recently started writing guest posts for IndianaBeer.com and have plans to attend some beer events over the Summer. I’m sure it’s only going to enhance the respect and passion that I have for the industry and I hope that I can play a part—even if it’s as a blogger trying to spread the word about the incredible craft beer scene we have here in the Hoosier state.beer, indiana beer