We Use the Marie Kondo Method for Craft Beer
- Chea Franz
- On February 28, 2019
With her hit Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” and her book The Life-
Understandably as the brewing community pushes for innovative beer styles, there’s going to be weirder and weirder beer trends (we’re looking at you glitter beer). While we’re all for trying new things, let’s draw a line in the sand when it comes to sprucing a beer to the point that it distorts the taste.
For example, Engadget’s Terrance O’Brien documented his experience using a kit that can “genetically engineer any brewing or baking yeast to fluoresce.” In short, he home-brewed a beer that could glow in the dark. O’Brien wrote, “The yeast certainly glowed and the first couple of samples pulled from the fermenter did as well. But, as the beer settled and the yeast dropped out of my brew, the glow became fainter and fainter. By the end, it was a pale glimmer rather than a blinding glare.”
So is the novelty worth it? We’re not so sure.
Chasing the Trends but Forgetting about the Classics
We’re not suggesting you avoid beer trends. Instead, we’re asking you to not forget about that reliable hoodie you have saved in your closet. You know, that super soft and comfy hoodie that you stored away to make room for your newer, shinier things. Like a trusty piece of clothing that makes you nostalgic, classic beer styles like the Amber Ale are becoming a thing of the past, prompting breweries to coin this month “Flagship February.” How about we not make Flagship February a thing? Let’s add the OGs like Fat Tire and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale back into the rotation because after all, where would we be without them?
With more than 7,000 breweries in operation in the United States, long gone are the days where craft beer belonged to an elite club. If anything, craft beer is more approachable than ever before with styles ranging from hazy to hoppy and fruited sours to pastry stouts (and everything in between). Breweries even offer lighter alternatives to big beers. With an abundance of choices now available to the average consumer, craft beer, in theory, should be relatively inclusive (i.e. don’t be that beer evangelist that shows up at the party that turns everyone off from with your super rare, bourbon barrel-aged, limited release that you stood in line for 3 hours for).
There is plenty of room for each of us to evangelize our favorite brews while also celebrating styles that aren’t our personal faves. There are times to ponder beer food pairings and times to throw a koozie on a can and enjoy the brew.
In short, let’s not limit ourselves or others when it comes to enjoying beer!
Speaking of inclusivity, let us let go of items that no longer serve us—like stereotypes. We’re far past the days of equating craft beer to white, bearded males (though TBF we have nothing against beards). At PorchDrinking, we’re proud that nearly half of our staff writers are female. Diversity in beer is so important that the Brewers Association tapped J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham as its diversity ambassador last year. “Craft beer is made by and for everyone,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association in a press release. “Diversity and inclusion are opportunities for businesses to lead and succeed. Jackson-Beckham will help to reinforce this idea, identify occasions where efforts can be strengthened and educate our members on being an even more inclusive community.”
Hoarding Beer Festival Glassware
As the brewing industry tries to meet the demands and interests of consumers, beer festival organizers are also upping the ante to stand out. A cupboard can only hold so many tulip, taster, pint, globe or can shaped glasses and it’s time to review your glassware to see what sparks joy. If you have some vessels that are just collecting dust, it’s time to pass them on.
There are countless fresh faces venturing into beer and seeking to achieve full-scale beer nerd status. Your unused glassware could be the beginning of another’s beautiful journey into the full sensory experience a beer in a proper glass can provide. Some low hanging fruit in cleansing your collection is to clear out those beer festival tasting cups. With festivals continuing to up their game with beer education, rare beers and beautiful settings, it’s more about the experience, and that doesn’t come in a 5-oz cup.
Festivals are integral to the craft beer industry, but we have reached a point where simply throwing a fest, just to throw a fest, needs to be remedied. We implore festival coordinators to be creative—a beer theme; music; food; a beer pinata—whatever you can conjure, lets make the festival, well, FESTIVE.
Perhaps a less is more approach is better in this scenario. Let’s throw away the antiquated convention cup model and instead go with less fests that give us more.
What types of beer trends spark joy for you? What can you let go of? Let us know by posting a comment!
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