Wednesday, November 02, 2016

What the 1977 "Save the Pacers" telethon in Indy has to do with today's Indiana's beer deserts.

The argument is sound, and the reference to the Indiana Pacers warms the heart of this aging fan of the American Basketball Association.

I, too, want to see a quality brewery in Madison and places like it. The solution to the problem of beer deserts ultimately lies with indie entrepreneurs in the state's smaller towns. There is no shortcut; it's happening now, and I hope the trend continues.

Hoosier Hospitality Demands an End to Indiana’s Beer Deserts, by Mark Lasbury (Indiana on Tap)

Walter and I had tickets to see the documentary film, Hoosier Brew: The Past, Present, and Future of Indiana Craft Beer at Flix Brewhouse a few weeks ago night. It was a very nicely conceived and shot film that brought up many topics in Indiana craft beer and introduced the viewer to numerous individuals with expansive craft beer knowledge.

As part of the discussion afterward, film maker Jonathan Hoyt addressed a question about a possible craft beer bubble. Everyone talks about saturating the market and hop crops not being able to expand rapidly enough, but Jonathan was much more upbeat about the situation. He pointed out that while big production breweries may be near saturation (although that may not be true either), there is still room for neighborhood or town-based brewpubs all over the state. You don’t have to make 30,000 barrels of beer a year to be successful at craft brewing; a pub with some good food and three or four finely crafted beers will offer people in small towns a place to gather and commune – just like in the old days.

As the situation stands today, there are swathes of the state that are over 20-25 miles from the closest craft beer brewery or brewpub, areas that I call the beer deserts. Deserts don’t have to be just areas of hot temperatures and sand; any locale that is devoid of some needed resource can be considered a desert ...


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