Drink Local from SproutJam lets you represent your home state breweries
As craft beer becomes more and more muddied, the idea of “Drink Local” is filling the void in beer lovers’ identities. There are plenty of regional and national beers that I enjoy, but more than 80% of the time I find myself reaching for something made in Michigan, where I spent my formative years, or Chicago, where I’ve been for the last decade.
It feels good to drink local. Every pint I put back helps build an even better beer culture in Chicago, or so I tell myself. The brewers are people I run into at events and see out at bars. Do I know most of them? No, but I recognize many thanks to Facebook and Twitter stalking. I can look over and say to myself, “that guy right there made this beer.” There’s something cool about that.
Beer from Illinois or Michigan isn’t necessarily better or different than beer made in Boston or Portland, but these are my breweries. It’s like cheering for the Chicago Cubs. There is exactly one player on the team from Illinois, but damn near the whole state cheers for them because the team is local. They represent us, the fan. Same thing goes for beer.
Chicago breweries represent me. No one takes pride in a beer wasteland like Mississippi, but I’m damn proud to have lived in two of the best beer states in America*. And yes, I still consider Goose Island to be local. Thanks to all that AB money, those people do more for the city than any other brewery. Plus, they still make amazing beers right here in Chicago.
I never really pondered this local lean until I saw Drink Local prints from SproutJam. It just struck me as a fun way to represent your home state beer pride. You don’t have to wax poetic about what it means to like local beer, because hell, it might mean absolutely nothing. You can want one of these just because they’re awesome pieces of art. It’s certainly better than yet another photo of Wrigley Field.
Prints start at just $18, so you’re not SOL if you have to represent two states like I do. Sizes range all the way up to 24×36 for you diehard drinkers. With 23 states available; hopefully yours made the cut. Most worthwhile states did. If not I’m sorry for adding insult to injury. Maybe just get someone else one as a graduation present and then live through them vicariously.