Remember the old Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” commercials? Well I want to know, “where’s the beer”? The craft beer, to be precise. It seems to be pretty easy to find local and regional wines around here (and that is a good thing), but local and regional craft beers? Good luck.
Since moving back to the area six months ago, I have been on a quest to find good beer around here. And when I say good beer, I don’t mean Corona or Sam Adams. I am talking about small batch, single location produced beers. Beers preferably crafted in our great Mountain State or even from the tri-state area. Maybe I am spoiled from living in bigger cities for a number of years before returning to my hometown, but I have been hard pressed to find much more than Yuengling (which is not a small production craft beer, but does at least originally hail from eastern Pennsylvania).
Yes, you can find Saranac, and Breckenridge, and Sierra Nevada. But where are the local brewskies? A quick internet search brings up about seven different breweries in West Virginia, one even as close as Morgantown! So why are there not six packs of these Mountaineer proud beers available at the local beer drive-thru? Or at the grocery stores? Or being supported by local owned restaurants and bars? Is the only way to drink local to travel to these breweries and take a tour and bring some six packs back home with you? (Microbrewery road trip, anyone?)
A trip to the local beer stop here in town brought me very few answers. When asked why more local beers were not available to purchase, I got mostly shrugs. Is there not a consumer demand for them? It is a distributor issue? Or maybe it is just more cost effective for stores, and bars, and restaurants to buy only the bigger labels. The ever persistent quantity versus quality debate. My quest has definitely brought about more questions than answers.
As a self-proclaimed locavore, I would love to be able to drink locally as well as eat locally. But “where’s the beer”?