Today marks the beginning of American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) – a nationwide celebration of craft beer in the U.S. Sponsored by the Brewers Association, this looks to be the biggest ACBW yet, with events taking place in all fifty states. To celebrate, I will be posting new craft beer posts every day of the week (starting with today). Today’s feature is on the Declaration of Beer Independence.
The Declaration of Beer Independence has been an integral part of American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) since 2009. It has been signed and shared by tens of thousands of passionate and thirsty beer lovers, hung on the walls of brewery tap rooms across the country, and even carried through the halls of Congress. It also can be seen on display in forward thinking retail establishments, further confirming the importance of diversity in the beer marketplace.
So, what I’ve done below is pulled out the text of the declaration and added some of my comments. At the bottom of the post is a link to download/print the declaration to display it proudly.
I declare that these are historic times for beer, with today’s beer lover having inalienable rights,
among these life, liberty, and the pursuit of hops and malt fermented from the finest of U.S.
small and independent craft brewers with more than 1,600 of them brewing today, and,
I learned this week that those 1600 breweries also support 100,000 American jobs! IN this kind of economy, it’s nice to know that there are still areas of growth and smart thinking about business. I’ve been encouraged by the new breweries that have opened in Maine in the last year, and I continue to wish all of those endeavoring to make it in the craft beer industry continued success in bringing great craft beer to the people.
I declare the beer I choose to enjoy is not a commodity, but more importantly an artistic creation of living liquid history made from passionate innovators. The beer I drink furthers our culture and teaches us geography and helps to nurture a sense of community, and helps to make the world a better place, and,
A toast to not sacrificing quality and for thinking about the beer drinker at each step. Craft beer drinkers have an unprecidented amount of choices, and helping support causes that craft beer drinkers are passionate about (i.e., local ingredients, reviewing their environmental impacts and water use, etc.) is one way that brewers have shined above their macro competition.
I declare to practice the concept of “Informed Consumption,” seeking and deserving to know if my beer comes from a small and independent brewer or if it is owned by a large brewing company. I want to know why so many of my local beer brands are not available in many of my favorite restaurants, bars and beer stores, and I encourage beer sellers to offer a wide selection of beer styles and beer brands that includes beer from my local and regional breweries, and,
I want to put out a personal call to continue bringing to light misleading packaging and “faux” craft brews – it’s important that the consumer has accurate information about the beers that they are drinking. Also, that I will continue to go outside of my comfort zone and talk to restaurants about their beer selection – both with my words, and my wallet – by choosing and supporting establishments willing to learn about craft beer.
I declare American craft brewers provide flavorful and diverse American-made beers in more than 100 distinct styles that have made the United States the envy of every beer-drinking nation for the quality and variety of beers brewed. I declare that beer made by American craft brewers helps to reduce dependence on imported products and therefore contributes to balanced trade, and,
I agree here, but I also want to acknowledge that the brewing cultures from which we are inspired still deserve recognition and support. I don’t want to see American Craft beer wipe out history, but instead, embrace and celebrate it. I’ve seen great examples of resurrected beer styles, innovation and collaboration across the continents, so I hope that does continue.
I declare to champion the message of responsible enjoyment of craft beer, the beverage of moderation, as the makers of these beers produce libations of substance and soul that are sincere and authentic, and the enjoyment of them is about savoring the gastronomic qualities including flavor, aroma, body and mouthfeel, while practicing responsible appreciation.
“Responsible appreciation” is the key here. And I think that I can say that most craft beer drinkers are examples for others as far as knowing their limits and practicing safe consumption. But it’s important that we keep being the good example for the upcoming generations who will discover craft beer, so it can continue to be responsibly consumed.
So with that, I wish you a happy kickoff for American Craft Beer Week – and cheers to the appreciation of craft beer!
Print and Sign your own Declaration of Craft Beer Independence
American Craft Beer Week Preview….
Coming up tomorrow: “The State of the Craft Beer Union”
Not in Maine? There’s a frequently-updated, state-specific list on the ACBW website.