TO BEER OR NOT TO BEER

It is not something readily admitted, but this could be the winter of economic discontent. A place in time where there is nothing left to squeeze…
Beer has gone up in price again. An inevitable announcement that is in truth another new tax. Blame it on the farmers growing corn instead of barley. The worldwide hops shortage. The trillions of dollars for government debt. Blame it on the…

Tried to come to grips with the faces of fellow citizens. The only true thing you have in common is the unrelenting pressure, attempting to comply with the prerequisites of a market driven, advertising obsessed culture. The same culture that claims Microsoft and McDonald’s are really good for you. An eye phone ring tone of enormous proportions.

What of the Bell’s Brewery and those folks who think nothing of spending nine dollars plus on a six pack of their beer. Will they mind that it is now ten dollars plus a six pack? Purchasing support for Larry Bell’s lifestyle, who, it is said, is a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs. These very same people who consider Oberon Kalamazoo Brewing’s gift to summer, and with one swipe of plastic can get back to their busy lives. Will they stay with this brew ship as the price sails keep rising?

Possible consultant work: Beer Doctor, they built this gigantic beer cave but all they have in it is some pretty lousy beer. They need someone to put quality in there to attract new customers, to develop a loyal following…

The beer business has its full share of incompetent people. People who do not care. People who don’t really love beer. People who would be just as happy moving kitchen appliances. It takes vision to create a great beer store, not just the desire to be economically successful. To provide a better selection for all your customers, not just the ones with disposable income.
It gets plenty rough when the money dries up. People who lose well paid jobs that are not coming back, sometimes turn to Vodka to knock back the nagging reality. At that point beer becomes a kind of joke, even the so-called extreme versions.

What the hekt is going on?

Brew master Garrett Oliver pointed out that beer “unlike wine, it’s an affordable luxury”. In King Hummurabi’s time, over charging for beer was punishable by drowning. Which brings up the main point here: How can you enjoy a beer if all you think about is the money involved? Most people just bite the proverbial bullet and pay the increased price, even though their own personal income has not increased, sometimes for years. Others, like yours truly, are forever vigilant, looking for a high quality brew at a reasonable price; which in these inflation driven times has become rare and difficult. The alternative of switching to macro brands (which have gone up in price too) is not really an option for a seeker of beer with flavor. The so-called retro classics are fine up to a point (the legendary lawn mowing beer) but that gets boring rather quickly. If beer is to be a life of drinking almost tasteless carbonated suds, I think (in fact I know) I’ll switch to water. That is the not to beer.
As for the to beer, all I can say is appreciate the quality even more, knowing that there may come a time when it may no longer be available. Remember that in 1974, beer was nearly destroyed in the United States. A human invention of at least ten thousand years was reduced to foamy nothingness in a can. May that never happen again. Thank You.beer_mat1.jpg

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