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Evidence of How the Beer World Has Changed

From This…

I was at a party this last weekend. Invited by a couple of close friends, but mostly an event where I didn’t know most people. You know what those kind of nights are like.

The evening was fine. I took a couple growlers of homebrew, which seemed to warm up a segment of the crowd. The people I talked to seemed very nice and I enjoyed myself.

But that is not why I am telling you this. I am writing this because I observed what beer every0ne was drinking.

This was a party of older, more established people who have known each other for decades (I can honestly say I was the youngest person in the room). The people I did know I classified in earlier years as Bud, Kokanee, Coors Light drinkers. They respected my beer knowledge but did not come along the ride with me. I was okay with that – I am not  into forcing people to drink something they don’t want to. I respect where people are at, beerwise.

That is what caught my attention this time. Sure there were a couple of Kokanee cans floating around, but they were dwarfed by a whole new breed of beer. Here is an incomplete list of what I saw: Alley Kat Full Moon, Blindman River Session Ale, Troubled Monk Open Road Brown Ale, Common Crown Coppersmith Brown. For good measure I also found some Newcastle Brown Ale and Pilsner Urquell.

For the beer aficionado, that list is likely nothing special. However for this crowd it was nothing less than revolutionary. These were beer that five years ago none of these people were drinking. In particular the fact that most were local Alberta beer is amazing.

… To This.

It tells me unequivocally that something is happening in the beer market. Yes, I know I have been saying that for a while and anyone watching the explosion of Alberta beer can see it. But, sometimes it takes a specific moment, a unique event to really force you to realize that the world has change.

That is what this party was for me. It was when I truly realized that the Alberta beer scene has changed. For many, local is now the default. But more importantly, local has infiltrated portions of the beer world that used to be closed to it.

I was  hanging out with a group of people who a couple of years ago were happy to get Kokanee at happy hour prices. But today they were, without reflection, happily consuming local craft beer. I even found that the couple of people who were drinking macro were apologetic (which might be a talking to the beer guy effect).

Local beer is for real. It is not going away. Get used to it.

What a nice thing to say. I am very thankful to the people at that party for showing me that the beer world is changing. Craft beer is on the rise, no matter what the big boys do to try to stop or infiltrate it. A wider range of consumers are finding local craft beer and, thankfully, enjoying it.

Look out world. Local craft beer is on a rampage! At least in this part of the world.

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