drink local

This post was written on 2015-10-12 and revised, updated, and published on 2016-08-12. It’s sort of disjointed even though I already split it up into two separate posts, but I just wanted to be done with it, so I clicked publish.

Drinking local beverages, whether that be coffee, tea, soda, beer, wine, or liquors, is an extension of the recently popularized “eat local” movement. To people just a few generations ago, this idea would have been common sense, but capitalism and some wars and insane advertising happened and for several decades Americans have had options limited by just a few major producers with limited offerings and mediocre quality. Many local producers had to close up shop because they couldn’t match the prices of mass producers or meet the crazy regulations placed on them by the government.

The eating and drinking local movement has become popular again recently because, in my opinion, it is a way to support local artisans, businesses, and chefs. Supporting local shops has become a more normal thing to do and people have started to understand that it helps everyone involved and cycles money back into their own families and businesses, encourages diversity, strengthens the community, and is more sustainable (see this Time article or this Huffington Post article to learn more). People enjoy creating something unique and doing it for their own community and sharing it with their friends and neighbors. These products combine local ingredients, history, and names, are often higher quality than mass produced products, and are a reason to be proud of your local community.

Local craft breweries have been opening up all over the area and it’s really exciting to me. Within 10-15 miles there are several establishments that I can drive to for a good meal with delicious food and fresh beer. I can bring home a growler or stay a few hours to see local original music. It’s one of my favorite things. There are also local distilleries and meaderies and wineries and cideries and coffee roasters that are passionate about what they produce and are eager to share what they do with anyone who is interested.

Recently someone in my life asked what I was doing that weekend and I responded that I was attending a craft beer festival (Cheesetoberfest). That person then asked me what craft beer was. I did not know how to respond. It took me by surprise and it’s something that I thought every adult who isn’t living under an actual rock knows about.

One of the hardest things that I have learned about becoming an adult is realizing that not everyone in my life has had the same privileges or experiences. It’s weird to say, but craft beer and purchasing/drinking local is something that I am excited about. Not everyone understands this or understands how to brew beer or taste beer, but everyone can enjoy beer. It just takes time to communicate with people who may have a completely different perception of what beer is. Once someone can understand that and taste a style of beer that they enjoy, I feel like they get it. There is more out there than just American adjunct light lager.

The craft beer industry is complicated. I’ll eventually follow this up with a post about my thoughts on macro beer monopolies and craft beer ownership, but for now I’ll just say that you should know who makes the beer that you drink. Many local breweries make great beer, and we should be proud of that. Here is a map to show you where the closest brewery to your location in the USA.

Also, here is a photo of me and my wife at Cheesetoberfest, an excellent event run by Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company in Dover, DE:

IPA Day 2016

Hops, hops, hops!

Hop vines growing in my garden, August 2016
Hop vines growing in my garden, August 2016

Yesterday was National IPA Day 2016. My wife and I visited Two Stones Pub Hockessin and had some great local and non local brews.

Delaware Today put together a nice article on some top Delaware-area IPAs.

Here are some of my other favorite IPAs. These probably aren’t all on someone’s list of best IPAs in the world, but I enjoy drinking them. Let me know your thoughts. If you think you don’t like IPAs but all you’ve tried is a Dogfish 60 Minute or a Lagunitas IPA or a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, you should revisit the style. There are a lot of exciting new variations.

Imperial IPA
– Dogfish Head – 120 Minute
– Firestone Walker – Double Jack
– Stone – RuinTen Triple IPA (they had this on tap last night and it lived up to my memories of how good it is)
– Stone – Enjoy By Series
– Union – Double Duckpin
– Sixpoint – Resin

– Sierra Nevada – Torpedo
– Evil Genius – Stacy’s Mom
– Dogfish Head – 75 Minute IPA
– RAR – Nanticoke Nectar
– Blue Earl – Walking Blues

Other IPA (Session, Black, White, Fruit, etc.)
– Ballast Point – Mango Even Keel (quite possibly my favorite new beer of the past year)
– Lagunitas – Night Time Ale
– Manor Hill – Passion Fruit IPA
– Mispillion River – Black Tie

I’ve also brewed a few of my own homebrew IPAs, session IPAs, & double IPAs that my wife, friends, & I enjoy drinking them fresh.


Moving forward. Baby steps.

Azaleas in my front yard. Azalea has always been one of my favorite words.

Easter-time was stressful, but that was only because I tried to do too much. We played a really really fun show at Mojo Main on Easter-eve (recorded our entire set), then I played a (freezing cold outdoor) sunrise service at 6am Sunday in addition to the regular service. Anyway. Music is fun.

We covered John Mark McMillan’s Death In His Grave, since it was Easter after all:

Erin played a really impressive solo set at the Chris White Gallery in Wilmington Saturday night. I recorded that entire show as well. ^_^

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)