When "buy local" movement is going too far...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by yemenmocha, Jan 1, 2013.

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  1. krl2112

    krl2112 Crusader (735) Nov 10, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I don't take local into consideration for much of anything. With beer, I pick what styles I like best, etc. I am lucky to live in IL where local is Goose Island, Two Brothers, 3 Floyds, etc but I also try and get others not locally available if they are worth searching out like The Bruery, Russian River, etc. I am a firm believer that you always vote with ur dollar so buy what u like!
    yemenmocha likes this.
  2. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Except that here, local is not always fresh and often there's no price advantage. Like many parts of the country there are retailers with slow turnover of product because they offer so many choices, or for a long list of other reasons.

    I agree if they make what I like then I'll drink it, so long as it is better than the alternatives.
  3. Lerxst

    Lerxst Defender (617) Jun 17, 2005 Florida

    Count me in as one who is becoming slightly annoyed at the push to "drink local." There have been 3 new breweries started near me (within 20 miles) in the last few years. 2 brew some tasty stuff and one, well, everything I have tried from them has been "meh" at best. I will patronize the two establishments that do a good job, but I refuse to buy a substandard product from a local brewery. As such, the "meh" brewery doesn't get any support from me because they just don't brew good beer.

    Bottom line, if locals brew good beer, I am happy to support them but I will by no means drink them exclusively. But I refuse to drink a substandard beer just because its local.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  4. DoubleJ

    DoubleJ Poo-Bah (5,353) Oct 13, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    I would think that would be more the responsibility of the brewery and marketing team for developing the marketing slogan than the retailer for hanging their sign. I suppose you could cynically put some blame on a retailer for not thinking through another business' propoganda and posting it, but ultimately, who developed it?
  5. StarRanger

    StarRanger Initiate (167) Nov 27, 2006 North Dakota

    The whole 'drink local' push started when few if any craft beers were distributed nationally so you could get either a national BMC product or a local craft beer. With that frame of reference, drink local makes sense. Years later with more craft being available to everyone and not just local brews, to the BA, it makes less sense.

    Local beers can have the advantage of being fresher and having less transportation to worry about. Plus they can help the local beer scene. But these items may not always be true depending on the situation. So drink good beer and if your local beers are not good enough, then don't buy them.

    Drink local, meaning someone's local beer and avoid the national beers, the original intent of this push.
  6. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    If you can get a 6-pack of La Cumbre Elevated & Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout for $8.99, that aint bad.
  7. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,034) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I just wonder how the folks who have the"buy best, no matter where it's from" make their livings? Do their paychecks come from Bangladesh or China? Even if someone is employed buy a large national/international company, a significant portion that company's income comes from people buying local. You might sweep floors at Walmart, where the majority of product are made overseas, but your neighbors are buying local, giving you a paycheck. Fortunately, I live in an area with lots of good breweries, so buying excellent and local is almost a default setting for me.
  8. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,260) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    This kinda reminds me of "eat local". Here, a farmers' market is a gathering place for the tree huggers and prices are ridiculously inflated because it is the hip thing to do. Talking to a friend in Florida, it is totally opposite where the FM's are a place where you can get reasonably priced, fresh locally grown produce. Why do they charge more - because the yahoos pay it and say thank you may I have another. I can go to my local farmer, pay less for a bushel of tomatoes than the FM charges per pound - makes no sense to me.

    I live in MA, but really have it pretty good brewery-wise if I consider the New England states and surrounding area as a whole region. Lots of good local-ish choices. Jack's Abby, Mayflower, Smuttynose, Hillstead, Victory, DFH, etc. Heck, I even like Peak Organic (I know they score low, but I like some of their stuff).

    I do look at the brewery, but that is the food process engineer in me. I like to understand some other things - sustainability, community involvement, using locally sourced ingredients, but first of all do they make good beer. If a brewer makes a good product and I like their philosophy, so much the better. Opposite is true too - if I learn a place has wretched business practices, I probably won't support them. Honestly it does influence my opinion of a place like Peak - not the organic hooey, but the local sourcing. Jack's Abby does this too and they make better beer, so it can be done. I like where that concept is heading - ties the local concept together start to finish.

    The sign is just a ploy to get bodies to walk into the "store" at the gas station and buy that 128 oz. Slurpee and a week old hot dog...doesn't truly have a thing to do with beer. Local convenience store here proudly advertises craft beers and they do have Troegs and a couple others in the cooler - hardly a mecca, but since it is only a mile or two from the house, I looked - mission semi-accomplished for them, I reckon - they do have pretty good coffee. And I could do worse than picking up Troeg's within long walking distance if the cellar was empty, right?
  9. Gregfalone

    Gregfalone Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Is your problem with the sign? The price? Lousy selection?
    I don't understand! Was there a bum out there hassling you to buy a pick six pack? A simple giant sign doesn't disrupt the peace for me....
    While typing this I figured it out. People like us see that sign and can't help but to go inside. Normally at a gas station you slide your card in the pump, fill up and leave. But this forces us to go in...

    Still, it beats the beer signs I see at gas stations around here. BUY BUDLIGHT ULTRA 44 SUPERMAX WATER LIGHT ULTRA MAX SUPERHOT CHICK MAGNET WONDERBEER!!!

    beertunes likes this.
  10. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,034) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    ISO: Superhotchickmagnettittiebeer. FT: My soul (after I get it back from the devil).
  11. Gregfalone

    Gregfalone Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I have a case ill trade for that p47 thunderbolt!
    beertunes likes this.
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,256) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Then why not ask "Who developed it?" for this sign, which is obviously from the local MillerCoors house which is also the wholesaler for a number of local Arizona breweries and apparently created the "DRINK LOCAL" logo with the AZ state outline - Crescent Crown Distributing?

    Chaz likes this.
  13. ggwheeler

    ggwheeler Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 California

    Bacher for the win.
  14. VitoFerrante

    VitoFerrante Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2012 Pennsylvania

    3 Floyds should be local to everyone. Maybe someday. Until than, I have Full Pint, Church Brew Works, Victory, Troegs, and Rivertowne to keep me going in Pittsburgh!!!!
    fatboy91 likes this.
  15. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (388) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    The people who actually do drink local (or otherwise emphasize consumption of locally produced goods) represent such a dinky demographic among consumers of beer (or anything) that complaints about them seem petty.

    Next up: "Damn that hipster, he's co-opted my grandfather's headwear!"
    TheBoog013 likes this.
  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,256) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    A few more examples:

    beertunes likes this.
  17. NiceTaps

    NiceTaps Meyvn (1,016) Nov 21, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Great NJ beers?? That'll be up to you to decide. But here are examples of offerings from some of the "many quality local brewers" that I was referring to: Flying Fish ( Exit series, Farmhouse summer ale, Red Fish Ale, Octoberfish), Carton (Boat, a sessionable low abv IPA; I like it over Lags Daytime, which is very good also.)
    Kane (Headhigh, to me, compares to Heady. Yup, I said it!). There are more, too! Kane and Carton are not bottled but are available on tap around the state! Enjoy!:slight_smile:
  18. n2185

    n2185 Poo-Bah (1,911) Apr 14, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Methinks it's a bit of a double standard to say that it's okay to buy local food for buying local's sake, but not beer.
  19. therealbeerfly

    therealbeerfly Initiate (130) Jan 8, 2003 Pennsylvania

    If you live in Easton, you can: Interstate Exxon, on I-78 (about a mile from Weyerbacher!) fills growlers and sells six-packs. There are some odd exceptions to PA's stupid booze laws...which is a big part of why they're stupid.
    jhartley likes this.
  20. therealbeerfly

    therealbeerfly Initiate (130) Jan 8, 2003 Pennsylvania

    I don't think anyone who's saying "drink local" is saying "You should drink this boring crap beer because it's made closer to you than other beers, and you should ONLY drink this local beer." It's more a consideration of buying the local beer over the beer "from away" if both are of similar quality/interest/freshness...because the local beer supports your local community. I buy local a lot, on as many things as I can, but that doesn't mean I ONLY buy local.

    If you don't have what you consider to be good/great/acceptable local options in beer/cheese/bread/whatever, by all means, don't buy local in that category. But don't freak out about the whole idea, and don't freak out that people in areas where there are great local options encourage each other to buy local. I'm lucky to have Victory, Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head, Tröegs, Flying Fish, Stoudt's, Spring House, Yards, Brooklyn and more all within two hours' drive from my house, and I'm very happy to be able to buy local...and I do. But it's not something I feel I have to do every time I buy a beer.
    EdH likes this.
  21. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    I certainly will try local over non-local, and if it's good, it I will keep drinking it. If not, I won't. But when I go into a liquor store and there are, let's say, two breweries I have not tried, one from 50 miles away and one from 1500 miles away, I will try the local one first.

    But I agree with needing to define local better. I get rather irked when some place counts local as in state, even though there is a supplier (because this isn't limited to beer) in the neighboring state that is much closer than in state sources that is not "local".

    Another important difference is self distribution vs third party distribution. Then there is definitely more money staying in my community, going to people I want it to go to, so it is preferable.

    And finally, one of the points of buying local is maintaining a connection with the producer you couldn't otherwise have. If you consistently have a SN product that you don't like, and could see how to make it better, it isn't exactly likely you will make a change to their plan. But if you see that with a truly local place, you should be able to develop a relationship with the owner and make the suggestion. If your local brewers suck and have infected beer, tell them to clean better.
  22. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    Another reason I will throw out to support local beer is that for some people, it is a gateway into beer. "I don't drink craft beer, but those guys are local so I'll try it. Hey, this is alright, where can I try similar beers" and we have a conversion.
    TheBoog013 likes this.
  23. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    8.99 for a mix sixer in my state (for local offerings) would be an amazing deal.
  24. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,816) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    There are a couple of Kane beers that are bottled, though with limited distribution.
  25. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Savant (953) Nov 13, 2008 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    While I understand your issue with people blindly drinking local for drinking local's sake, I certainly look at local beer differently.
    • First, I think pretty much all local beers at least deserve to be tried. I can't say that about non-local beer. If I don't like it, I won't drink it. If I like it, I'll continue to drink it. But I should know what I like that is produced in my area. I know this isn't a reason by itself, though.
    • Second, oftentimes this beer is being brewed by friends or friends of friends, etc. Knowing who is producing the product you are consuming and who you are supporting is great, particularly if they are a friend of yours. You can also often talk directly to the brewer about the beer and feel more a part of the local scene. You can develop friendships with people involved with the brewery. You may even be able to get a job out of it.
    • Third, local beer will generally be fresher.
    • Last, it is supporting the local economy. Notice that I did say this last, though. It's not even close to the most important reason to drink local.
  26. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (476) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    i look at it differently. that kinda' ad is more like fly paper. hopefully it snags & keeps unnecessary fleas & gnats outta' my lane. i know better, just like i trample over signs indicating GMOs are just as good as organics. besides, i only 'drink' local, mostly in my own living room!
  27. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I am lucky, I am in Vermont and local beer is awesome! I do however "buy local" and trade for other peoples local beer.
  28. TheBeerDad

    TheBeerDad Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I love to buy local when I can, but it all comes down to wanting to buy great beer. For example, recently the Grand Rapids Brewing Company has re-opened ( I do believe someone just bought the name for boost in marketing) and I have been looking forward to check it out. First and foremost I believe that if you use the term "Brewing Company" in the title of your name that when I enter your taproom I will find YOUR beers on tap, not Founders, Shorts, etc. Secondly if the descriptor used to define their beer only includes, "Its good... I mean its not bad", there may be an issue. Buy local when you can, but great beer is great beer and when your locals aren't, don't buy it.
  29. jhartley

    jhartley Poo-Bah (2,426) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the update. It's nice to have the option of going to Wegmans and buying some great beers at a decent price too.
  30. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (1,661) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    I'm happy to drink local, but I've also got some great local breweries in the area. I know these folks, like their products, and find the pricing to be wallet-friendly. There are also a few locals that are not nearly as good. I can barely tell you what they make because I stopped buying their products a long time ago.

    I can also say that they good craft beer places by me do not give out their tap handles just becuase the products are local. They have a nice mixture of locals, top domestic craft, and plenty of nice imports.

    Anyone who is going to tick beers isn't going to care whether its local or not. And the local breweries by me to not release enough new stuff to satisfy a serious ticker.
  31. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (497) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I only checked this thread to see what the grumpy old man was complaining about today.
    BigCheese likes this.
  32. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (388) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Now you're forcing the OP to decide whom he dislikes more, tickers or localists.
  33. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Which is great for those of us who prefer the world-class regional imports.
  34. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    You know what? Everything but the brewery can be considered local. The distributor and the store that sells it are both local so unless you travel hours to a store out of your area, you are supporting local businesses when you go to your local beer store. So there.
  35. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I wouldn't go that far. Mom and Pop bottle shops as opposed to huge chain store liquor stores are more likely to have a higher percentage of their profits spent locally.
  36. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I'm in NYS so beer is not sold in liquor stores. The huge chain supermarkets that sell some craft beer sell mostly what is available anywhere and everywhere but they still employ local people who spend their paychecks locally. What I was trying to say is that there is a local component to everything for sale out there - even if the product is made in China.
  37. mountsnow1010

    mountsnow1010 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2009 Vermont

    I drink local beer, made with freshly drawn VT municipal tap water and brewed just downstairs from where I sleep.

    Drink local - brew it yourself. :slight_smile:
  38. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    This. People who FAVOR local beers tend to do just that... favor them. If they'e good and comparable, go with the local option.

    I find it tough to fathom how the idea of buying local annoys people so much. Or at all. A simple sign at a gas station is that bothersome? Someone actually gets bothered when I buy beers from a local brewery instead of CA beers that have sat on the shelf for a month?

    Buy what you want... and let others do the same. Even if their habit of supporting local businesses bothers you.

  39. EyePeeAyBryan

    EyePeeAyBryan Crusader (703) Dec 20, 2011 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Funny, I think this all the time. Since the photo taken was obviously about AZ beers and you and I both live in AZ, we also both know there is not a chance in hell we're only drinking local. At times I almost feel like they try and make us feel guilty when we aren't drinking there below average brews. I cannot F***ING stand when I go to a bar and it's full of all AZ beers. WHY WHY WHY?!?!? If I want local beers, I'll go to 4P or SanTan for a drink. If I want out-of-state beers, I go to Papago, Boulders, WF, the Monk or whatever, but when they load up their taps on local and advertise that (like it's some great thing), they might as well be telling me not to come in. I want something new, strange and from far away! I can say for sure that bars carrying craft has BLOWN UP in the past year or two but people in AZ need to learn that Four Peaks is not the "be all/end all" of beer.
  40. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I understand what you're saying and think you make a great point. Nevertheless, I wanted to point out that the profits made by a grocery store that has it's headquarters in another state aren't all spent locally, even if their employees are local folks.
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