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Values, memories, ideals

Flag at Craftsman Brewing, Pasadena, California

This flag appears in black and white on page 22 of Brewing Local. It seems like a good day to think about it in color, or simply to think about it.

It was hanging high on the back wall at Craftsman Brewing in Pasadena when I visited in March of 2014. It used to belong to Craftsman founder Mark Jilg’s grandfather. “He grew up in St. Louis. His father died when he was six years old. Very do-it-yourself kind of guy,” Jilg said. “Like any flag it is a symbol; a placeholder for values, memories, ideals.”

Conversation about authenticity, as elusive as it might be, comes easily when looking up at the flag. “It’s all about being genuine, tied to a place. It can be inspired by the place you live, by the people around here. It can be conceptually about place, not physically about place,” Jilg said. He talked about the symbiotic relationship that develops when beer is consumed locally. Brewers care about what their friends will be drinking, and consumers take pride in consuming beer made by people they know.

“Once you have that genuineness, it fends off the evils of the twentieth century,” Jilg said.

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