Wolaver's Organic IPA

If you've read this blog before you know my love of beer basically comes down to getting loaded every night, but occasionally there is more to it. Though I bash Budweiser nearly every post, and it probably seems a little old, there is a good reason for it. It's very upsetting for me and my shrink. Here's a rant from the disillusioned business student in me: Beer is a traditional processed agricultural product that people have made and enjoyed for sustenance, fellowship, and to get laid, for a long time. I'm no historian, so let me know if I have this all wrong, but mass production and product standardization have reduced the wealth of variety and quality that evolved over hundreds of years of beer making that was done with local ingredients and techniques. The result in our corporate-dominated culture is a lot of inexpensive beer that tastes about the same, the mechanisms of our society created the beer equivalent of Kraft cheese. Often new beer styles are created and marketed for what they lack, instead of what they are. Kraft beer is better that no beer, I have to admit.

Thankfully, there's been an explosion of interest in real craft beer. Public enthusiasm and micro-brewers have catalyzed a new industry that has wrested the fate of my favorite beverage from the corporate behemoths by enriching diversity and quality in the consumer's favor. The fart in the glass elevator, potentially, is a new elitism spawned from the claimed special insights of beer connoisseurs that would turn the average beer-lover back to PBR in revolt.

There's an opportunity for people in the new industry to make the county a little better – or less bad. As new businesses gain market share from the old Milwaukee Brewers the jobs created can be local, fair-paying, and employee owned - maybe compensating for the decline in workers' power in the old industry. New breweries also have an opportunity and incentive to make every part of production what it should be; by the way they distribute and market their products, acquire the ingredients, and compensate employees.

Organic beer has been a little slow to catch on compared to some other food products, which is funny since I'm sure beer had always been organic up until... Anyway, Felecia bought me a six-pack of Wolaver's IPA brewed by Otter Creek Brewing in Vermont. It's an American style IPA that's not the hoppiest on the hop wagon but has a really distinct and pure hop flavor that's smooth underneath - it has an essence without making you chew those bitter buds yourself. It's the antithesis of IPAa with a delicate floral nose and outlandish hopptitude like Hazed and Infused because of its well integrated flavors. I recommended it to you. According to their website Otter Creek will be at the North America Organic Brewers Festival on June 18 at the World Forestry center in Portland.


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