On Thursday evening, I attended the Jeffersonville Main Street Chili & Beer Bonanza on Groundhog's Eve at Kye's II in Jeffersonville, and had a ball pouring generous samples (“how much would you like?”) of NABC’s Kaiser 2nd Reising and Old Lightning Rod.
It was a retro Thursday, given the pre-Prohibition and Colonial motifs, respectively, of the beers we chose to showcase.
Fellow brewers BBC (Main & Clay) and Upland also were on hand to help quench the flames and raise funds for downtown Jeffersonville revitalization. It was a first-rate event, and I look forward to participating next year, but I must confess that I saw something profoundly disconcerting while manning the taps.
You’ll notice that with the price of admission guaranteeing virtually unlimited portions of 13-14 different craft beers from three different breweries, some in attendance chose instead to pay for bottled mass-market swill at the cash bar.
I couldn’t believe my own eyes, and that’s why the camera came out.
Verily, you can lead a person to ideas, but you can’t make him or her think. Apart from my personal angle in espousing the joys of craft beer, there is a philosophical consistency to the ethos of craft beer and downtown revitalization. Consider that one fundamental purpose of a fundraiser such as Jeffersonville Main Street’s is to raise consciousness about buying locally and supporting local businesses, and yet more than one or two workers for the small businesses on hand dispensing chili, not to mention at least two prominent community “movers and shakers,” refrained from local beer in favor of paying for multi-nationally brewed Budweiser.
In effect, they were paying twice (or more, in fact) for one inferior product – hardly something to be expected from “real men of genius,” but funny in an apocalyptic sort of way.
Thanks to Jesse and Jared for setting up, and Todd for helping me tear down and corrupting the remainder of my evening.