Here is what my beer purchasing history looked like for the first quarter of 2020:
In terms of drinking “local” I only purchased one beer that was not produce nearby. At a hotel bar in Davenport my choices were fairly limited, but for some reason Summit Brewing’s very good Saga IPA was on tap. I will admit that I am conflicted when it comes to large-ish regional breweries like Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is not local to me, but it is definitely still more of a craft brewery than something owned by the giant brewers. Nonetheless, one beer from a non-local brewer over the course of three months is pretty good.
I was doing really well buying beer that did not produce any packaging waste, but then coronavirus upended all of my plans. Before leaving for an aborted ski trip to Colorado I stocked up on some local beers from Big Grove Brewery and Iowa Brewing Company. Big Grove Brewery’s Easy Eddy has become my “go to” beer over the last six months or so. Available in twelve packs widely across my metro area it is an easy pick-up.
In Colorado I found myself really digging the beers made by the folks at Hideaway Park Brewery. On the Saturday that the state of Colorado effectively closed all ski resorts for the season—only two hours or so after I arrived in Winter Park—I was sitting on barstool at Hideaway Park enjoying several draft beers. I also bought two six packs to take back home and hunker down for a period of isolation. Damn coronavirus.
If there is one thing that I can ask everyone and anyone who ever drinks beer it is to support the local breweries in your community any way possible during this really shitty period of time. A lot of the business that these breweries count on is gone. There are little to no commercial account activity in bars and restaurants. On site draft and merchandise sales are gone. It is hard times. Buy a six pack if you can. Hell, buy a case if you can. Even if it sits in the refrigerator for several weeks that is okay because the cash flow might just help your local brewery make it through until we can all raise a glass again at the bar.