Thursday, May 15, 2008

This Week, We Celebrate!!!

Everything else has an official celebratory week, so why shouldn't Craft Beer. Hell, even The US House of Representatives agrees. So, having started Monday, May 12, 2008, we are in the midst of American Craft Beer Week which continues through this Sunday. If you're down, you can check out a list of events in your area. I will be celebrating in Altoona, PA at Blair County Ballpark (in the rain nonetheless) while attending Pints for Pets. There are a number of us going from the home brew club and should prove to be a fun-(beer) filled day.

So why the sarcasm at the beginning of the post? Well, after reading the press release, i got a bit worked up about the wording (I know, semantics-schemantics) concerning what was actually being celebrated. And I quote:

American Craft Beer Week (May 12-18), which is celebrated annually, highlights the industry and culture of craft beer. This year, breweries and beer makers will also recognize their collective charitable contributions. For the first time ever, the Brewers Association announced U.S. craft breweries’ charitable contributions, and for 2007 they are estimated to be more than $20 million.

What? You're thinly veiling a week dedicated to imbibing malt beverages behind the fact that the industry donated $20 mil to causes in their local area? Let's call a spade a spade here. Don't celebrate "beer" by pushing the fact that the craft brewing community supports the local PTA. From HR 753:

Whereas American craft brewers are vested in the future, health, and welfare of their communities . . . as commited sponsors of a broad range of vital community institutions and philanthropic causes, including parent-teachers' associations, Junior ROTC, children's hospitals. . ..

That's all well and good, and I sincerely commend each and every brewery that gives back to its local community. If you are going to celebrate this generosity, though, don't call the week "American Craft BEER Week", (see, semantics) because what is supposed to be celebrated and what the participants are actually celebrating are two different things. I guess it comes down to this - if you are going to celebrate the community service of American Breweries, do so and flaunt it. If you are going to celebrate American Craft Beer, then don't hide the fact that you're planning on drinking behind the breweries' service projects.

I guess this hearkens back to days of the Temperance Movement. You know, the one that brought us Prohibition. I really do not understand this country's apologetic nature when it comes to alcohol. Or, more specifically, the need to make the fact that a person likes to drink beer somehow more chivalrous or meaningful. This, though, is another discussion for another day.

So . . . Kudos to the many American Brewers that care about their community and so graciously give their time and money to help improve the world around us. As for American Craft Beer Week, I'll be celebrating the brewers product, like the title implies.



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