Next Session To Consider What Makes Local Beer Better?

I’m a little behind the eight-ball in getting the word out, but our 61st Session is coming up fast; this Friday to be exact. Our host, Matt Robinson — a.k.a. The Hoosier Beer Geek — is asking us to consider the question What Makes Local Beer Better? Here’s how he puts it:

The topic I’ve been thinking about is local beer. The term is being used by just about every craft brewer in the country. What does it really mean though? Is it more of a marketing term or is there substance behind the moniker? This month I want to think about what makes local beer better? I’m not just talking about the beer itself, although it’s the focal point, but what makes local beer better? My connection to local beer is far from thinking that my beer is actually “local.” Maybe you don’t agree with me, and you can write about that. Bonus points for writing about your favorite local beer and the settings around it being local to you.


So get yourself home to your local community by this Friday — March 2, 2012 — and put on your local thinking cap. Then start waxing philosophical on what exactly that means. Local food — and beer — mother fucker!



  1. beerman49 says

    Can’t be around for the discussion, & I’m not in the “biz”, but how much one can call “local” when it comes to brew pretty much is limited to water; the options increase dramatically when it comes to food – but what radius defines “local”? My radius for “local” is 100 miles; for those who live in small states on the East Coast, it may mean “in-state”. We who live on the West Coast pretty much have the best of all worlds when it comes to “local”.

    Many brewpubs I’ve visited/read about source their food as local as they can – Elevation 66 in El Cerrito CA is a good example. The only heavy-use food ingredient on their menu that’s non-local is potatoes, which is not part of CA’s agricultural mix. All beef, pork, meat cheese, & veggies are from nearby; fish I’m not sure about – but their fish & chips are to die for.

    Have fun – I’ll read the discussion after the fact.

  2. Justin says

    As beerman implied, it’s the barley, hops, yeast and adjuncts which make the beer. Most barley comes from the upper midwest, most hops come from the Pacific Northwest and Europe. There aren’t many breweries in North Dakota which produces lots of barley. So the notion of “local” beer is a little misleading if one is only considering the ingredients. Interestingly, if you are ingredient focused, wine is the way to go because wine’s ingredients are typically sourced locally. Here in Maryland, I believe there is one brewery which has some beer made with all local ingredients, but there are many wineries within 100 miles which use all local ingredients. For reasons which are hard to articulate, I still favor locally made beer, especially from brewpubs. I just like to talk with the person who makes the beer that I drink. Even if I only talk to him or her less than once a year.

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