Hello! Thanks for reading. This is my first post on my new West Roxbury Patch blog - Area Man Drinks Beer. For those of you that want to skip forward a few paragraphs to read about all the beer-centric stuff I will be blowing your mind with on an unscheduled but fairly regular basis, here’s your opportunity.
First, a Little History
For the rest of you, a little background on how I got here: I’ve been drinking craft beer for the better part of 13 years in the Boston area. During this time, and following a dip in the first wave of craft brewers to emerge in the 1990s, the craft beer industry in Massachusetts has literally exploded – particularly so in the last few years. In 1999, we were limited to a few selections from Samuel Adams and Harpoon, some California- and Colorado-based options, and some brewpub-based offerings from places like Boston Beer Works and the Northeast Brewing Company (gone, but "Pretty" hard to forget). By last count (via the Massachusetts Brewers Guild), there are now at least 44 brewers in the Bay State and several in the works. As a result, the local craft beer drinker has many options to choose from today.
Choice can be daunting. There is the reaction, walking into a beer bar or a well-stocked package store and see a row of taps or a stack of colorful six-packs and 22 oz. bottles, to give up and simply say, “Gimme a [insert major sports league sponsor here].” I’m not here to stop you. What I am here to do is to give you some suggestions about how to tackle the variety of craft beer available today, and why - You Should be Drinking a Craft Beer by Now.
What You Can Expect from Area Man Drinks Beer
I started this blog because I love craft beer, and I like writing. My typical M.O. is to try a new beer if I see one on tap or in the beer aisle – especially if it is a Massachusetts or New England-based brewer. Case in point: I joined the online beer rating community Untappd when I purchased a new iPhone back in May, and lo and behold, the data demonstrates that about 60% of the beers that I drink are new and unique. So I decided that I should put all of that quality control work to good use and start writing about my experiences.
I also want to write about craft beer as a function of our neighborhood. West Roxbury was a different neighborhood when I moved here in 2003. Since that time, I’ve had the chance as a member of the West Roxbury Main Streets Board of Directors to both witness the arrival of new restaurants with access to good, local craft beer like West on Centre, Masona Grill and Porter Café, as well as indulge my interests with several series aimed at boosting craft beer’s profile in the neighborhood while bringing craft beer fans into West Roxbury to enjoy our local businesses. We have a rich craft beer constituency, and I want to provide it with a voice and a forum through this blog. So send me your thoughts on the blog, event postings and ideas for future stories or reviews at neighbeers at gmail dot com or through twitter @Neighbeers. And comments below, good or bad, are always appreciated.
In the meantime, there will be some soon-to-follow posts to orient the newer craft beer drinker on:
- craft beer, defined,
- how to get started enjoying craft beer,
- the myths associated with the craft beer scene, and
- the benefits of drinking local craft beer.
After those posts, you can expect at least one post per week, with a mix of reviews, links to area craft beer-based events, and some Neighbeers Across America posts from the road, an occasional series on my craft beer wanderings across the country (Chicago, New York City, Seattle, Portland, Maine and South Florida are in the works).
A word on reviews: support your local brewer
Finally, you should know that I pay for all of the beers that I review. Craft brewers are small businessmen (and businesswomen!) and deserve to be supported for their artistic and entrepreneurial spirit. I’ll talk more about the communal benefits of drinking local in a future post, but for now, read up on the effects of spending locally at The 3/50 Project, and understand what your dollar means to the people making a living by creating and serving you some of the finest beers in America.
Enjoy friends, and drink local.