This article, sent to me by my Dad (hi, Dad!) is something that really excites me about what could happen in the next few years of craft brewing. Standard not-a-Luddite disclaimer first just in case people think I’m against using ingredients from far off places: I am not a Luddite.
That said: I think that it’s an interesting experiment to see if or how the flavor of a beer is impacted by locally sourced ingredients. The world has given us the opportunity to homogenize so much, or to simply blend so that distinctive qualities, both good and bad, are blunted and I sometimes wonder what’s being lost in translation.
For me it comes down to this: I like to go to new places and see what’s interesting about them. One of the draws of travel is getting to taste the local food and I have often felt like there is frequently less distinction than there used to be. Can sushi really be a special treat if you can eat it in Muncie, Indianna? Wouldn’t a beer made from ingredients that are as exclusively local to Muncie as you can get be more interesting than one made just using the exact same stuff they use for Guinness?
So when people come along and say: I’m going to make things with the stuff we have here, that gets my attention because there might be something remarkably different about it. This may not always be good…but at least it won’t be the same.