Thursday, 10 January 2008

American Beer Culture

Boing Boing is many things. It's claim to be an expert on beer, though, has just taken a pounding. Using the American launch of a Heineken draught system to make some points about how not all beer is great, Joel Johnson, obviously worried that he wasn't getting enough comments on his blogs, added:
The United States has the richest, most exciting beer culture in the world.

No, really. Click the link above. He really said that. Ok, so he added "Discuss." afterwards to suggest that he didn't actually believe what he was saying and was just throwing out provocative statements to get the ball rolling. Still...

The comments instantly get in to arguments about number of breweries in various countries and states and how you have to know just the right bars if you want to find the true culture, etc, etc. One commenter uses one curious bit of logic:

Something to chew on: The US population is 303 million. Germany, the largest European country, is 82 million. Even if far fewer people as a portion of the population are enthusiastic about real beer, you still end up with an enormous culture, capable of some great beers.

That is also an explanation for all those great Football teams coming out of America in the last few years, I guess.

Anyway, the argument is simple. Once the US starts large scale production of a session beer anywhere near as good as a fresh pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord, then they might have a culture. Whether it becomes rich and exciting is entirely up to them.

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