Get ready for a tidal wave of Washington beer. We’re gonna pour it down your throats if we have to! Here at the Washington Beer Blog, we intend to spearhead a Drink Local movement. You’ll hear about it in the coming months. I know, you’re here reading the Washington Beer Blog, so I’m probably preaching to the choir.
We were recently informed of a disturbing fact. Washington beer ranks fourth amongst Washington craft beer sales behind Oregon, Colorado, and California. (not sure of the order.) That is shameful. Embarrassing, really. Our local brewers make such excellent beer and this is the thanks they get?
There are a number of reasons why drinking local beer is a winning proposition. To begin with, local beer creates and maintains local jobs and supports the local economy. Drinking local beer is the more sustainable and eco-responsible choice (it doesn’t have to be transported hundreds or thousands of mile to reach your pub or grocery store). And, of course, Washington produces some of the world’s greatest craft beer.
We are not suggesting that you should never drink non-Washington beer. You should always drink what you like and what you want. We understand that Saison Dupont, for example, is not a Washington beer. What we are suggesting is that next time you reach for a six pack of pale ale named after a small body of water in some other state, consider grabbing a six pack of beer that is named after a geological feature that is in our state. Of course, the Washington Brewers Guild and the local beer distributors need to meet us half way on this one. The product needs to be available in order for us to choose it. Your local grocery store or pub likely has more, or at least more familiar, out-of-state beers. We want to change that.
Below is a message from Heather McClung, President of the Washington Brewers Guild.
I have just returned fromto testify in a bill hearing and talk with a few of my legislators. Recently, a bill received some press in the Times and mentioned a legislator as saying he was unaware of the beer industry having a world-class reputation. This admission made it clear to me that the brewers guild and the beer commission has a lot of work ahead of us in raising awareness of what a great product WA brewers create, and you as a WABL member can help!
This morning, I paid a visit to this particular legislator and after chatting for awhile, invited him to a Seattle Beer Week event that will be held in his district. I would like to strongly encourage you as WABL members to get to know your legislators (who for most of the year are regular, working people with normal jobs) and, if appropriate, invite them to any special events showcasing WA Beer.
Among the craft beer sold in Washington, Washington’s beer ranks fourth. This is no doubt, a contributing factor to people’s lack of knowledge regarding our reputation for creating great beer. Next time you are out at the bar or restaurant, ask what local or WA beers they have on tap.
Thanks for your help in raising WA beer awareness!
SchoonerEXACT Brewing Company
She’s absolutely right. This is a team effort. As consumers, we need to choose Washington beer. The brewers need to provide us with easily obtainable Washington beer. To top it all off, the Washington state legislature needs to have our back.
In addition to everything that Heather said, I would encourage you to mention it to your bartender or pub owner. Why don’t they have more local beer? Ask the beverage manager at the grocery store the same question. When you’re out for a fine meal and the wine list features dozens of local wine choices, ask them why they don’t do the same for Washington beer. Send a note to your legislators. It’s easy to do. Just tell them that you want them to recognize and support the local beer community.