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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Youth Movement

Here's some news to offset all the grim reports we keep hearing about hop and barley prices: the kids are really into craft beer. As I was standing in the (increasingly long) lines at the Holiday Ale Fest on Saturday afternoon, I noticed that I was surrounded by festgoers with a mean age of about 24. This isn't unusual for the Oregon Brewers Festival, which has a certain frat party feel. But these youngsters weren't there to get tanked. They were buying the beer in 4-ounce servings, sniffing, swirling, sipping, and then comparing notes. Typical exchange (from memory):
"Did you try the Ninkasi?"

"Yeah, it was fantastic."

"Really? I thought it was a little sharp. I just tried the Alaskan Porter. Amazing."

"Oh yeah? I'll give it a try."
I have worried that craft beer would be regarded as fuddy-duddy by the new generation--most of whom don't even remember a pre-craft era. Consequently, I've keeping an eye on the 20-somethings; so far I hadn't seen anything like the droves who turned out for the fest this weekend. They were there drinking some of the most intense beer brewed, at premium prices, and they were having a ball. It augurs well for the next decade or so.

More on the fest tomorrow. Teaser: the best beer at the Holiday Ale Fest wasn't an ale.

1 comment:

  1. Well that 'teaser' narrows it down to about 4 beers from my recollection: Widmer's Decorator Weizenbock, Silver City's Christmas Bock, Hitachino Nest Celebration vintage and Samichlaus. What's it gonna be, Jeff?