On beerodiversity

Can microbrewing save the world? In a recent article on Alternet, Chris O’Brien looks at the global and historical perspective of microbrewing: revolutionary America and the colonies’ dependence on porter from England; the rich variety of local brews of Africa and South America being replaced by imported mass-produced beer, and the rich brewing tradition in Germany due to the Reinheitsgebot (purity law) of 1516.

O’Brien puts forth the popular “buy locally” anti-globalization argument, that equates globalization=big beer=bad beer. I do like his “beerodiversity” point. I am all for supporting local brewing diversity. But I also do appreciate a globalized selection in the local(ly-owned) beer store. Most of the beer I drink is made in North Carolina. This state has some fine brews, like Highland and Foothills, and there are some very good local micro-brews as well.

But I also like having a large selection of imported and US beers available. I like my Weihenstephan weizenbier, or a Celebrator, or even just a Guinness. The latter in particular, is a great example of “big beer” not necessarily being “bad beer.”

To me, beer and life is all about diversity. Diversity grows locally, but it can also spread globally. So yes, microbrewing can safe important aspects of the world, like local tradition and flavor. So let’s save the world – one pint at a time.


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