In a June 28 blog entry titled "InBev/AB Deal = Brewing Industry Tipping Point?", I pondered the possibility that craft brewing could benefit from the nation's current economic upheaval, high gas prices, and an InBev deal. I suggested that craft brewers launch a campaign urging Americans to "drink local" and thereby save gas, support local businesses, etc. (*1)
I'm not the only person who is thinking this way. The Alstrom brothers, the energy behind beeradvocate.com and its print counterpart, Beeradvocate magazine, have taken a first step with their "A Buck for Beer Advocacy!" campaign. Members of the beeradvocate.com forum have posted comments seconding the motion and outlining their own variations.
My pal Jay Brooks just posted a blog entry along the same lines.
If I kept hunting around, I’m sure I'd find more online talk about promoting craft beer as local/green beer. But a truly professional, nationwide, long-term media campaign requires money and lots of it. Ideally, the Brewers Association would step up; perhaps build a partnership with the Alstrom brothers. Maybe one of the bigger craft brewers could pony up some cash.
Or not. Money’s tight everywhere. The BA, for example, is a small operation; I doubt it’s got a lot of extra money to throw at this kind of campaign. (On the other hand, a “drink local" crusade gets right to the heart of what the BA is all about, right?) Meanwhile, spread the word. When your friends talk about eating “local" or buying “green," remind them that beer is food. And that going green begins with grassroots!
*1: If you enjoy drinking spirits, you can also drink local-and-green. To find a local micro-distiller near you, visit the American Distilling Institute, and click on "distilling directory." (The ADI was founded, by the way, by Bill Owens. Back in the 1980s, he started one of the nation's first brewpubs.)