Saturday, November 16, 2013

The PC: From Bier Brewery to Cumberland Brews, but not neglecting Plaid Friday.

(Published at on November 15, 2013)


The PC: From Bier Brewery to Cumberland Brews, but not neglecting Plaid Friday.

My eyes couldn’t believe what they were seeing, right there on the Twitter feed.
Could it really be?
Up in Indianapolis at the Mass Avenue Pub – a fine, craft-friendly downtown bar in an emerging food, drink and cultural corridor – there was going to be a tap takeover, and the beers projected to flood the pub’s draft lines were coming from Bier Brewery.
Surely this was a misprint.
After all, Bier Brewery is not located in San Diego, Boulder, Kalamazoo, Atlanta or Bend (Oregon). How could they get away with THAT? If beer appreciation these days is all about location/further location/furthest location, then it stands to reason that Bier Brewery’s home in Indianapolis, just a few miles away from Mass Avenue Pub, would preclude it from being embraced by an Indy pub. The narcissists wouldn’t stand for it. Where was the chic, the aura … the sheer distance?
There had to be a catch.
Pondering the enigma as I cuddled up to a Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale, daringly decanted straight from the can into my favorite dimpled mug, I imagined a conversation with Mass Avenue Pub’s management.
Roger: Really? You’re emphasizing local Indianapolis-brewed beers … in Indianapolis? The end times must be upon us.
Mass Avenue Pub: What’s so unusual about that? We have lots of great breweries here in Indianapolis.
R: I dunno. They’re only great when you’re somewhere else, right? Does Bier Brewery have good enough scores on RateAdvocate?
MAP: Beats me. I never look at RateAdvocate. Bier Brewery is top quality and caring folks, and we’re just trying to support local beer.
R: Okay, but how can a joint be local if the beers aren’t sourced from a gypsy brewer utilizing multiple locations in the European Union, and then sending them to America by means of an equation pegging IBUs to an inverse carbon footprint?
MAP: Gypsy? That’s funny. We have a bunch of tattooed brewers in town, but no gypsies I’m aware of. We support other beers from all over, too, but Bier Brewery brews right here – and local breweries are what makes Indy such a wonderful beer town.
R: Sounds risky to me. Did you get express written permission from World Class Beer to do this? Are any of Bier Brewery’s beers triple-soured during a sea journey across the equator? Maybe Dry-Chrysanthemummed? Better yet: Aged in caskets formerly used to bury Scottish road kill, but only if constructed with Islay-tempered wood?
MAP: (Laughing) Maybe, maybe not. Why not come up and see?
R: I might, thanks.
Still somewhat confused, I proceeded to the kitchen to begin work on an especially important pot of Hungarian Szekely Goulash, for which I’d reserved a bottle of Neyron Red from New Albany’s River City Winery.
As the aromas of pork, onions, paprika and sauerkraut filled the house, it seemed the perfect time to switch off the Arctic Monkeys’ newest and tune into the recently released Episode 9 of the podcast, the one where Scott Shreffler of Schlafly gave us a solid Gravity Head preview, but didn’t reveal how Schlafly managed to outbid Alltech for Yum Center craft access.
Only the shadow knows … and Centerplate, of course.
There were ten very interesting minutes jam-packed into the podcast’s hour-long running time, among them a good discussion (paraphrased) about beer brewed in Louisville, to wit:
How come we never talk about Cumberland Brewery/Brews?
Indeed. Why? It’s a relevant query, and the podcast’s participants were suitably thoughtful in briefly identifying a seeming “disconnect”: The 13-year-old brewpub’s relative anonymity when it comes to participation in events and discourse.
Someone noted that Cumberland Brews seems perfectly content to fly beneath the radar, to refrain from hedonistic chest-thumping, to please its customer base, and to thrive on its own little chunk of Louisville localism. Or, to be more succinct, Cumberland Brews might well be the only Louisville Metro brewery to recall and apply the founding principles and localist ethos of the craft beer revolution.
Who’s up for a Cumberland Brews tap takeover?
(pins drop, crickets chirp)
That’s what I thought. Perhaps in Taos, New Mexico. Is that far enough away?
NABC is a founding member of New Albany First, which is our city’s independent business association (IBA). It’s like the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA), which encourages you to Keep Louisville Weird, and is dedicated to encouraging the public to support independently owned, small local businesses. IBAs accomplish this through three primary focus areas:
1. Public education about the greater overall value local independents often can provide (even when they are not the cheapest) as well as the vital economic, social and cultural role independent businesses play in the community.
2. Facilitating cooperative promotion, advertising, purchasing, sharing of skills and resources and other activities to help local businesses gain economies of scale and compete more effectively.
3. Creating a strong and uncompromised voice to speak for local independents in the local government and media while engaging citizens in guiding the future of their community through democratic action.
NABC and our craft brewing brethren sink or swim as locally oriented independents, and many of us have pledged support via New Albany First and LIBA. Happily, the approaching holiday season provides a perfect opportunity to put worthwhile principles into real-world action.
We all know that “Black Friday” (November 29) is the biggest sales day of the year for big boxes and multinational chain stores — the ones where the money promptly flees town for corporate headquarters worldwide. In response to media hype and saturation advertising, which steer so much trade to the country’s biggest, richest and largest companies on “Black Friday,” the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), of which New Albany First is a member, promotes Shift Your Shopping, of which Plaid (as opposed to Black) Friday is a component.
Instead of Black Friday it’s PLAID FRIDAY! Shift Your Shopping and wear plaid as you shop on Friday to remind yourself and others to make the 10% Shift. The 10% Shift encourages you to shift 10% of your holiday purchases from non-local businesses to Local Independents (also called indies or locally owned and independent businesses). Making the shift to local independents is one way we can build sustainable economies and create jobs in our local community.
It’s simple. You’re not being asked to go cold turkey — just allocate a percentage to independent local businesses, and learn what they can do for you. New Albany First and LIBA can help locate independent businesses, and we thank you for your support.
Now more than ever: Think globally, drink locally.

No comments: