Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not you too, Mr. Koch!

Why do people feel the need to justify beer to wine? I've run into two examples this week alone. The first on Alan's blog and the second on the Washington Post's website. The first one, about brewing beer for women as an alternative to wine, is just dopey. The second one, oh the second one is just inexcusable. Perennial, craft beer jingoist, and Sam Adam's own, Jim Koch gave a kick to the scrotum of all beer lovers on Bloomberg Television's InBusiness With Margaret Brennan. Koch first speaks on the cost of brewing and his companies efforts to help smaller breweries get operational. He then goes on to say that the increase in craft brew sales is because... Wait for it... Beer is the new wine.


If people need to think that wine is more sophisticated, or that they are for drinking it, than by all means, do so. Nevertheless, let's keep beer out of the fray. Beer is good, because it's good, not because of it's station in the world. Craft beer sales are up because breweries are producing beer that folks want to drink. It's not because some trendy magazine or news program says so. Beer has never been about elitism, although some have tried to make it that way, beer has always been of and for the people.

He may not realize it, but his comments undermine craft-brewing. Koch may want beer to be the new wine, but beer might not.


  1. I think you missed his point. It wasn't long ago when people went to the store and mindlessly pulled a six pack off the shelf. Now people are looking at beers the way wine drinkers look at wine. You bring out a 1997 bottle of Big Foot and you'll get people begging for a taste.

    He wasn't saying beer tastes like wine, it's being treated like wine.

  2. That's exactly my point. Beer shouldn't be treated like wine.

    Treating beer like wine implies that it's somehow like wine—taste or otherwise— and it's not. It's seems like a moot point. Beer isn't ever going to replace wine, nor should it, so why keep up the constant comparison. Beer has been around for thousands of years, longer than wine, actually. I think it's time to let it stand on it's own.

  3. By the way, thanks for being my first commenter ever!