Philly Beer Week: The (Local) Life of Beer

So, it's Philly Beer Week (obvs), and after a post-work game plan discussion with a coworker (Doobies for Flying Fish and then Bells in West Philly perhaps?), I jumped on the internet to cruise for blog worthy items. That's when I see this: "The Death of Beer?"

So, sales of Bud and Miller are down. People have less money, ect. But then the writer says this:

One obvious guess is that America is becoming a more bourgeois place. Even as income inequality grows, fewer people work traditional working-class jobs or identify themselves as blue-collar, the typical base community for the beer industry. Simply put, fewer Americans think of themselves as the sort of folks who drink beer.

Moreover, consumers crave innovation, whether it's the newest club or the newest fashion trend. The same goes for alcohol. And where has the innovation been? In wine, where American vintners have secured a reputation among the best in the world.

Blerg. Ignoring the innovation in American craft beers seems like a sin. I also think he misses the point when it comes to young, hipster types (who he claims are sending most of their dollars to PBR and Yuengling). I mean, everyone enjoys the occasional "special" at Bob & Barbara's, but I would be curious to see the numbers on the amount of beer consumed versus the amount of alcohol (from beer) being consumed.

Since I became a moderate beer snob, the amount of beer I drink has probably declined. Where I used to be able to throw down four or five light beers without blinking an eye, two or three will often due it for me when it comes to the IPAs and trippels I've come to know and love. And my bar tabs have hence stayed pretty steady. 

All that said, I realize I'm seeing this through (Philly) beer goggles—there are bars all around town where Kenzinger is $3 (Yards Philly Pale Ale is often not far behind, price-wise) and the volume of rare and interesting brews consumed here allows establishments to charge a reasonable price point. They know that if they charge $7 for a Bells or Six Point, customers will simply go elsewhere.

Also—let's be serious—if you go into a place like Sidecar, Standard Tap or SPTR and order a Miller Lite, you kinda look like a total loser. It's like eating at a Garces spot and sticking with salad (dressing on the side).