Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do You Realize What You've Done?!?!

When has it gone too far?

Hunahpu Day 2014: an event that was supposed to be a celebration. It was held every single year for the past few years and was seen as a culmination for not only the brewery but also for craft beer fans alike. An event to celebrate where we have come, what beer is and what beer can be. A place to share, to discuss, to laugh and to create lifelong memories never to be forgotten.

All gone.

Ticket scammers can really ruin it for the rest of us.

Is it possible all of this has gone too far?

Waiting in line for a beer release, a man walks up and down the line with a bottle in his hand. He doesn’t say a word but everyone in line knows what he is doing. Someone approaches him and they talk briefly for a moment. The man hands over that bottle and in return accepts his bounty. A transaction just took place and the seller pocketed more than three times what he originally paid for that bottle.

I'll sell these to you...

When will we start to believe that it has gone too far?

Go to Craigslist right now. Type in “Dark Lord” “Bourbon County” “Rare beer”. Click on one of the ads. Do you believe that some people will actually pay those prices and that mark-up?

Now, do you believe that this is what the brewery and the people who worked incredibly hard to make this beer would want?

Reasonably priced?

Whatever happened to predictability? The milk man, the paper boy, evening T.V.

Tickets sell out for a beer event in less than two minutes. Instead of blaming the rising popularity of craft beer, we slander the brewery and automatically assume it is doing something wrong. Drag its name into the mud instead of learning about the simple laws of economics like supply and demand.

Beer experts are now everywhere. Experts who will completely destroy a beer for what it is, yet admit that they just “don’t like that style.” Beer experts who will drink their weight in whatever is fashionable but never bother to open a book to educate themselves on what they are drinking.

The internet has become a veil to hide behind. An online forum that was meant to be a place where like-minded individuals could come to share their passion is often a place where people will call out, unjustly criticize and be downright rude to other beer drinkers and breweries. 

(Beer forums are sadly not the only sites that fall victim to this. Check out the comment sections on YouTube sometime. What is the point of all of the arguing?)

Craft beer is mainstream now. It is in movies, on the subway, on television and dominates the liquor store’s beer aisles. In Chicago, I can go to almost any bar in the city and guarantee that I can find something that we label “craft” available.

But at some point we need to stop, look at ourselves and ask ourselves one simple question:

Are we helping or are we hurting craft beer?

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