A few moments ago I watched an interesting video of a 1962 NBC documentary… “Where The Boys Went”. It was a case of NBC discovers “Spring Break” and that teens drink lots of beer.
Towards the end of the video one of the teens is asked to describe how he felt about the future and his response, echoed by the others in the group, was more or less… “Party hearty because the end is near.” In the atmosphere of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War this attitude can be understood. But it begs the question… What if the world doesn’t end?
In that case you end up with the Rolling Stones… but I digress.
At the turn of this century there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the commercial beer market consisting of one mega-brewing business. The end of the world was near. The small brewers were going to be a thing of the past. Good beer would be impossible to find. The mega-breweries were going to buy up small breweries and foist them off on an un-suspecting public as “real” beer. Almost two million people resorted to brewing beer at home to insure they would not go thirsty. Advertising agencies were pulling their hair out trying to position factory made beer as a “micro”… and it went on and on because the market was being devoured by international mega-businesses and it was the End of the World!
Let’s return to the above mentioned video. The conclusion drawn at the end of the clip is that at the time there seemed to be the beginning of a social belief that “Right now is the last party and forget about tomorrow. It might not come.”
Quick… Now back to the focus on beer and the brewing industry.
The ocean change in the international beer market in the last twelve years (since the turn of the century) has resulted in three things.
The first thing is that the world did not end.
The second thing is that international mega-companies are a fact and they change their shape as the financial wind blows.
The third thing is that the ingenious brewer will always brew beer and put it on the market and make a profit. They range from fifteen gallon batches sold in firkins to select accounts to folks like Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.
Relax… the world is not going to end tomorrow or the day later. You don’t have to drink all the beer now. You don’t have to chart each and every beer and archive those observations. You don’t have to do any of that unless you are driven to do that for some journalistic reason.
Ever since the days that we were taught to “Duck and Cover” in the case of a Nuclear Bomb attack until this very day, when I was warned in the New York Times that a terrorist group had plans to blow up something in the United Stated that was very important in the next few days, I have been badgered by fear mongers. Well bugger you all.
Today I am going to relax…and enjoy my beer!