It’s a quandary that could only exist in our current foodie-driven, every-taste-matters era. You go to a ballgame and the concession stand beers are strictly from the international conglomerates. Unacceptable. You hit a summer concert in the park and the only options for wetting your whistle are corporate macro-lagers. Disgraceful. You attend your buddy’s wedding and the damn open-bar is all bottom-shelf brews.
What exactly are you supposed to do?
I started solving that latter issue by smuggling my own well-filled flask into ceremonies. That’s crass, certainly, and embarrassing to my wife, maybe, but much better than spending an entire Saturday evening drinking rotgut. But I don’t exactly have any sort of reputation to uphold.
It made me wonder: What do the owners and brewmasters at some of America’s top craft breweries do when faced with the aforementioned scenarios? Remember, these aren’t just people who like to drink “good beer.” No, their entire raison d’etre is about producing independently-owned, lovingly-made, stick-it-to-The-Man ales and lagers. In fact, were a beer geek to see, say, Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione coolly sipping on a Bud Light Lime while at a baseball game or rock show, why, we might have an international incident on our hands.
So then, what do pros like Calagione do? Maybe they suck it up and surreptitiously sip an ice-cold PBR after all. Or maybe they opt for a gin and tonic or the house wine. Perhaps they smuggle some craft cans in their pockets, or flex a flask like I do. Or is it possible they abstain from drinking altogether until they can get back to friendlier beer waters?
I had to know, so I hit up 11 of this country’s top beer-makers and asked them that very question. Here are their answers.