T.J. Blinn on Social Media discoveries in the World of Beer

There’s a common prefix that amateurs and passionate people of all kinds have been using for the past 40 years to keep big corporations out of their figurative neighborhoods. That prefix is “Support your Local [insert beloved, independent, old-fashioned, and quickly disappearing thing here]”. We’ve all seen or known someone who has used this phrase, sometimes proudly displayed on a T-shirt or hand-crafted with 1960s grass-roots button-making flare: Support your Local Skateshop! Or Support your Local Book Stores!

backpack buttonsWhile these sentiments are important and indeed should be preserved, it must be admitted that they also have to be updated. Let’s face it, covering your backpack in protest buttons isn’t cool after you turn 16 and T-shirts nowadays are meant to be ironic. No, everyone knows that if you want to share your message and deep passions about anything, that display should reach as many people as possible and be broadcast as quickly as possible. I speak of course of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, etc… Here, news becomes an endless ticker of endless Support your Local [fill in the blank cause] messages. And pictures of cats. But, surely all this news can be used for good and not just for awesome pictures of cats. Yes of course it can. It can be used for beer!

If I chose to fabricate protest buttons and display them proudly on my bag for the world to see today, surely the message that would take-up the most real-estate would be Support your Local Brewery! Sadly, I don’t make or wear buttons anymore. What I do still talk about just as annoyingly is beer. Just like when I was 15 and could guess the interests and personality of most of my friends with a quick glance at their collection of hand-made, plastic advertisements and stickers, today my Facebook News feed posts display my beer snobbery.

support_your_local_brewer_225_buttonHowever, unlike the button, social media today doesn’t just allow us to tell others about the things that we find awesome. We can open up the lines of communication and interact with it. Now, I “Like” on Facebook virtually every brewery that make my favorite beers. Every time I add a brewery to my news feed, that’s one more piece of information that fuels my daily dose of knowledge that I use to torture everyone around me. Supporting my local brewery online now gives me daily articles about new releases and the changing culture of the beer world, like a newspaper for my specific interests.  I can discover what the Brewmaster is cooking up next, what special events are going to be held at a local brewpub or, review your favorites so that you can tell your friends that you are a “writer”.

dieu-du-ciel-brew-pub_2Seriously though, there are great discoveries to be made, like this one I made at the Dieu du Ciel! brewpub that I found waiting for me one night in my news feed. Microbreweries are quickly reaching trendy restaurant levels of diversity and innovation. Just within the last month there was a special Randall event where beer is filtered through fresh hops and spices. There was also the Winter Warmer festival and La Cuvee where local microbrewers made special edition beers for the beer connoisseurs. A popular microbrewery celebrated their anniversary with their most popular beers served in casks, being aged to perfection, and a local pub celebrated imported Lambic beers.

So, Support your Local Brewery! Read-up, get out, taste, enjoy and spread the word.