This month host Matt Robinson asked us to write about “What makes local beer better?” for The Session 61. I found myself staring at his marching orders like a deer in headlights (or a thirsty drinker in front of 62 tap handles). Matt asked a series of questions that left me feeling as focused as his Twitter feed. And 852 words into answering each of them individually I realized I still hadn’t pointed out that we have a St. Louis ZIP and there are six breweries between our house and Anheuser-Busch, and the closest is Schalfly Bottleworks. It’s Schalfly’s production brewery, but the beer to drink right now is Amarillo Session Ale, available only at the attached restaurant/pub. In other words, only locally. 852 words? I’m sure you would have loved the technical discussion about volatile hop aromas, but I hit delete. Instead, one thought.
Beer is a sum of its parts, which include the humans who make the beer and the consumers who drink it. It’s not beer when the ingredients arrive on a truck, wherever that truck might have come from. It turns into beer locally. Magic.