Just say no to Guinness. And Smithwick’s. And Harp. Even if it is St. Patty’s Day, say no. Why drink imported beer when we live smack dab in the middle of the most vibrant, innovative beer culture the world has ever seen?
Philly Wine… and Philly Beer
Instead of partaking in stale, mass-produced beers, why not drink something fresh and local? The impetus for my plea is an article on the Pennsylvania wine scene; it’s a fascinating take on how there is much potential to make great wines here, but the financial situation isn’t quite right.
While pondering this article and my wine habits, however, it dawned on me that beer is another tasty drink that’s much further along on the “world-class in our backyard” scale.
The United States is making the best beer in the world, bar none. Better than Germany, better than the Czech Republic, better than Belgium. That’s right, better than Belgium. Beer is the ticket if you want to drink locally and drink well.
Tradition vs. Modern Beers
Traditional beer markets are hindered by tradition and a reliance on the old ways (something that can be seen as a positive, ironically, in the wine world). In the US, however, creativity is tantamount.
Our brewers regularly experiment with different styles, blending styles, and ingredients not often found in beer. This leads to a diversity of choices that is unheard of elsewhere. (It’s doubtful, for example, that Guinness will be offering a stout brewed with chicory anytime soon – but our own Dogfish Head offers that tasty option!)
Brew Local and Brew Awesome
In addition, for most beers sold in the world, freshness is crucial to overall quality. Yes, some bottle-conditioned beers with high alcohol volumes can benefit from some time, but these are a very, very small percentage of beer sold.
Otherwise, the sooner you drink it, the better it will taste, which means that, for the Philadelphia drinker, a beer brewed in Harrisburg will probably taste better than beer brewed in Dublin. So take a beer brewing class at the Philly Beer School and drink uber-local!
A Screed Against Imported Beer
My disdain for imports is not limited to Ireland, of course. I continue to see people drinking crappy, mass-market imports like Heineken and Stella Artois as if they are a step above American beers. These people have never tried Victory’s Prima Pils, a traditional pilsner (lager) that offers freshness and vibrancy that these European beers cannot match. Living in Philly means drinking Philly beer is always the tastiest choice.
St. Patrick’s Day
So, this St. Patrick’s Day, try a local Philly beer instead of ordering whatever Irish swill is on special. Did you plan on drinking Guinness? Instead, try a creamy, robust Lancaster Milk Stout. Prefer Smithwick’s? Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Red (from Ohio) is impeccably smooth. Harp? Get your hands on some bright, fragrant Victory Lager.
Drink Local Every Day
Drinking local beer, of course, goes beyond everyone’s favorite boozehound holiday. It’s a year-round request: the next time you are faced with a beer-buying decision and are tempted to pick up an import, don’t. Just say no. Find something brewed closer to home that’s of a similar style. Or perhaps a style you haven’t tried before. Both your taste buds and your community will thank you. The Philly beer scene, thanks you!
3 thoughts on “Drink Philly Beer”
What’s up, this weekend is good in favor of me, since this time i am reading this wonderful informative piece of writing here at my home.
Are there so many options available in local beer? I never knew this. Some of the names are so tempting. I would like to taste Lancaster Milk Scout. Such a innovative name.
What an article! Felt like grabbing a bottle right now. Well, to be very frank, I never knew so much about local beer. Thanks for updating me. I promise, next time when I go shopping for beer, I will remember your advice.