As we look at the tappings of the collaborative pale ale brewed to commemorate Grand Rapids as co-Beer City USA, the path that led to the title comes to mind again. When it was discovered in Michigan that Grand Rapids had been nominated a campaign was enacted (very grass roots and unorganized but the mob had a common goal) to elevate Grand Rapids into the ranks that it so richly deserves.
Michigan has a growing beer scene, arguably the best in the country (nah, I’m not biased). It is no Portland, Seattle, or even any city in Colorado, Grand Rapids has a style all its own. But this isn’t a na na na boo boo thought. Thoughts of the beer brought up memories of those who didn’t do as well in the polls as Asheville and Grand Rapids.
You see, during the time of the polls there were some who took the time to condemn the cities in the lead and even those who supported them and voted for them. The claim was that it was just a popularity contest and didn’t really mean anything. Seriously, how dare people take pride in the accomplishments of those around them. Of course the voting was a popularity contest, isn’t the standings of any given beer nothing more than a popularity contest of sorts? The voting for beers comes every day at the checkout counter and is tallied in sales volume.
The real question is, have communities become so jaded of late that they forget some of the most important aspects of beer, community and fun? That is something that the collaboration brew represents. 10 different breweries coming together to develop a recipe that is special to the community as a whole. Beer City Pale Ale represents more than just the city of Grand Rapids. It represents the entire craft beer community and what it can mean for everyone.
Time for a pint…