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5 Reasons Craft Beer is the World’s Greatest Beverage

I’ve recently been asked by the folks over at the Today Show to do some beer posts for their website. My first thought was to write a manifesto about why craft beer is the World’s Greatest Beverage – I figured it’d be a good tone setter.  They figured differently, and instead suggested I do a Super Bowl-themed article.   Fair enough – I guess they like to keep things topical.

But now I have the talking points of my little manifesto bouncing around my head, so I’ve decided to unleash them here.  You could see this as a B&WB exclusive, or as the Today Show’s rejects. Either way, here are five reasons why I think there’s no beverage in the world that can compare to the wonders of craft beer. 

Variety and Creativity: I can’t think of another beverage (except maybe Gatorade – those guys pump out a new flavor every day) that offers the breadth of variety and creativity found in the American craft beer scene.  You have dozens of styles, and thousands of brewers putting their own unique spin on each.  And that’s not to mention the legion of total oddball beers that are bubbling with imagination and craftsmanship.  You could drink a craft beer every day and probably never have the same beer twice in a decade.

Affordability: Craft beer isn’t cheap, but the value you get for your money is immense. Most are brewed with premium ingredients and lots of them.  Also, I think it was Sam Calagione who said the coolest thing about craft beer is that just about anyone can afford to buy the best beers in the world.  You can’t say that about wine or spirits. Craft beer cost more than macro lagers, but you get so much more for your money.

Regional Availability: This is a double-edged sword, but all told, the limited distribution reach of many craft beers makes traveling more fun, as you can get a taste of beers you can’t get at home. I’ve spent the past few summers visiting our parents in Wisconsin, and the first trip I take from their house is usually to the beer store to see what’s available.  I always feel like a kid in a candy store when I see stuff from New Glarus, Bells, Central Waters and other great breweries just sitting there on the shelf.In this age of Amazon and on-demand, there’s a certain charm in having to wait a while to get what you want.

No Snob Appeal: We talk about beer snobs all the time, but outside our happy little craft beer bubble, most folks think beer is for NASCAR fans, bowling leagues and frat boys on a budget.  I tend to shy away from status symbols and self aggrandizing (except when I’m humble-bragging about the Today Show – see paragraph 1 above), and that’s what’s so great about beer.  You can be the biggest beer geek in the world and NO ONE is going to think you’re trying to be a fancy man.  I like that!

You Can Live on It: Fact: you can live on beer.  This guy did it for Lent last year, and it’s a centuries-old tradition amongst Franciscan monks as well.  Even this guy lived off of Coors Light for three days while stuck in a snowbank, and that hardly even counts as beer!  The fact is craft beer (especially when unfiltered) is packed with enough nutrients to sustain life.  Try doing that with whiskey – you’d be living the real world version of Leaving Las Vegas, which didn’t end well…

So those are the first five reasons why craft beer is the world’s greatest beverage that popped into my head.  Are there any you’d add to the list?

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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37 Comments on “5 Reasons Craft Beer is the World’s Greatest Beverage”

  1. Don
    January 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Hey! Watch that whiskey talk. You couldn’t live on Wine either! Dis wine. not whiskey! Plus if you did die, at least you’d be happy!

  2. January 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    How about some food pairings for Super Bowl party fare?

    – Norm

    • January 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      Sure. Good beer and some crap to nibble on (food optional). 🙂

      • January 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

        Just saying if the Today Show wants a Super Bowl themed article around craft beer perhaps you should mention the Super Bowl and what people eat and drink as they watch the game.

        Me, I’d rather watch condensation on the side of the craft beer bottle than the game.

        • February 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

          I hear ya Norm!

  3. John King
    January 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    “You can be the biggest beer geek in the world and NO ONE is going to think you’re trying to be a fancy man”

    What if you are a beer geek who everyone considers a fancy man? Not pointing any fingers…

    • January 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      I’ll keep lobbing them up as long as you keep smashing them out of the park, John.

      • John King
        January 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

        No PED’s here.

        • January 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

          Nope, just beer muscles…

  4. January 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Duh–because it tastes good?

    Also because:
    * it quenches thirst like no other beverage can;
    * it comes in so many different kinds of containers;
    * its good for one’s prostate gland, kidneys & digestion;
    * it has cross-cultural appeal;
    * its credited for providing the impetus for civilization;
    * its the justification for one of humanity’s most valuable social mediums–the pub;
    * its high in antioxidants; and
    * it makes me happy!

    • January 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      All good ones. I especially like “it tastes good.” Right to the point that one…

  5. January 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    The “Today” show, huh? I would have guessed “The View.” Good luck on your “Super Bow” article. I had no idea such things existed. 😉

    Congratulations and good luck on tapping in to a whole new audience!

    • January 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      It’s a REAALY BIIIG bow! And I’m a moron – thanks for pointing out the typo – just fixed it!

  6. January 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    It’s high on social settings. Seriously, we all know or have read that it is many things but when it comes down to it, the social setting is the main grab of craft beer (beer in general). Craft beer is a great reason to gather round the bar, pub or house with good friends and talk about anything and everything. Let’s not get too far from what beer really is.

    • January 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Yes, a social lubricant.

      • January 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

        Like fire was in the cave, only tastier (and easier to swallow).

        • February 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

          I keep waiting from some low-brow, snarky comments about “social lubricant.”

        • February 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

          You mean like working in the term “watering hole” or some such thing? 🙂

  7. January 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    So when will this Today Show episode be airing?

    • January 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      It’s not an episode, just a blog post on their website. It should be up on Friday, but who knows. I’ll post a link here if it sees the light of day.

  8. January 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Congrats on the new gig! They should’ve run with that article. I’ve always said that B&WB has an uncanny knack for making me want to drink good beer, and that particular article is a perfect example of why.

    I guess you could add that you can talk to a lot of people about beer. Most everyone drinks beer, has a favorite beer, has fond beer memories…

    • January 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      Thanks, John. We’ll see what the gig turns into, but it’ll be cool to get PAID to write about beer for the first time. Woo hoo!

      I think the whole “gathering point” thing should have made the list – it’s one of the great things about beer for sure.

      • February 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

        In a way, you could consider this Blog as a “Lite” version of a pub. Can you imagine enjoyable it’d be if we were actually able to drink beer together at a pub?

  9. John King
    January 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Post beefcake Don…that will get more views than a post about the boring Superbowl, since I’ll guess a majority of their readers are female.

    • January 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

      I think you’re on to something there.

      I’m trying to find out if they want us to write for a female audience or if they are trying to attract more guys. Either way, my metrosexual style should thread the needle!

      • January 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

        You’re like the Mike Greenberg of beer.

        • January 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

          That’s very, very insulting, John. 😦

        • January 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

          Good work.

        • January 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

          Ha… I like Greenberg and Golic.

  10. Jeff
    January 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    The bottom line for me is QUALITY. I might not necessarily be into every craft beer or style out there, but I know that when I buy a craft beer, it has been made without cutting corners. What’s in the bottle is the brewer giving you all they’ve got, which simply cannot be said for the profitcentric megalithic brewers.

  11. February 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  12. February 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I am going to have to disagree with the “No Snob Appeal” quality. I am a dedicated craft beer drinker, and I am an experienced home brewer as well, there is definitely a snob appeal to craft beer. We, the craft beer fanatics, are the snobs of the beer world. This is because we are picky about which beer we will drink. Craft beer drinkers will not waste their time and money on a bad beer from a big brewery (Coors, InBev, etc). So yes craft beer is an awesome deal in terms of affordability with relation to the quality of the beer and ingredients. Since craft beer is such a higher quality than your regular bud light, it is the high standards of craft beer that give it a somewhat snob appeal. Craft beer drinks are too good for InBev, Coors, Corona (Mexican Piss-water), Heineken, and the rest of the big breweries.

    • February 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      While I agree to some extent, the point is regular people won’t ever take it seriously. It’s like being a snob about what kind of RAM you use in your laptop. Outside a tiny community of nerds, no one cares. You can brag about your fine sensibilities about beer to your non-geek friends, but they can always shrug and say, “dude, it’s just beer. Whatever.” There’s no coming back from that one!

      • Tom
        February 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

        I completely disagree with everything you said.

        • Don
          February 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

          Dude, Its just beer…Whatever.

  13. February 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Beer…good.

    • February 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

      I completely agree with everything you said.

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