Authored by Tristan Schmid, communications director for the Brewers of Indiana Guild (BIG), it's a three-part refresher course on the theory and practice of localism in beer.
Taught him everything he knows ... well, not really.
First, follow the money.
Why does “local” matter when it comes to craft beer and beer fests? Part 1: Economics
“Money from the beer value chain is made up of producer-distributor-retailer (and taxes). Where that money goes varies by retail channel, product, etc., but on average, roughly one-third ends up with the producer. When that producer is local, that means the money goes to local workers, investments, businesses, taxes, and more. When that producer isn’t, you still get the value from the other portions, but you simply lose that 1/3 that would have gone to the producer.”
Next, think about the community.
Why does “local” matter when it comes to craft beer and beer fests? Part 2: Community
You may have heard of Ray Oldenburg’s concept of “third places,” those which “host the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work.” Nearly 2/3 of Hoosier breweries are brewpubs–the epitome of Oldenburg’s “third place.”
These are places where, in addition to beer direct from the source, you can enjoy local food, artwork, music, events, and much more. Locally owned brewpubs are places to hang out with family, meet new friends, and talk with the brewers about the beer you’re drinking.
Finally, take a bow.
Why does “local” matter when it comes to craft beer and beer fests? Part 3: You
Consumer support of finely crafted local beer is key to the industry’s continued growth and strength. Thanks to demand for a good, local product, it’s been possible for Brewers of Indiana Guild to lobby for efforts like legalizing Sunday growler fills at Hoosier breweries.
People like you made it possible to raise barrelage limits last year from 30,000 that could be sold in state to 90,000–meaning that it’s easier to get Three Floyds and Sun King across Indiana because they can legally sell more of it in their home state.
If it weren’t for Hoosiers supporting their local brewers, we wouldn’t have been able to launch the Drink Indiana Beer campaign or the app or the forthcoming DrinkIN magazine (which–plug!–features a handy-dandy regional map of all the state’s breweries.)