With the emerging and rapidly growing popularity of craft beer, you would think wine-os and beer geeks would find some common ground. Why is there such a divide, can’t we all just get along?
In the US, breweries quickly multiplied through the early 1900’s, before prohibition killed most production. On average, two new breweries are opened per day in the US, setting the pace to pass the previous record of 4,131 in 1873. Hard to believe that just in 1983, there were only 80 breweries in operation. The craft beer trend has catapulted in the last two decades!
No one is going to argue the growth of the craft beer movement, but what makes beer such a popular choice? Accessibility? Casual culture? Affordability? And why does someone need to identify with one alcohol over another, can you equally be a wino and a beer geek?
Wine and Craft Beer have much more in common than you might think.
- Ancient production was handled mainly by monks.
- Beer (in northern regions) and wine (in southern regions) to hydrate troops instead of water.
- Both production was advanced with modern advances in biology and chemistry.
- The recipes are basically the same! Sugar (barley/grapes) + Yeast = alcohol & CO2
Not to mention, both industries have the same risks and hurdles: at the mercy of nature and production of agricultural crops, transport to markets is costly and timely, imposition of high taxation and finicky regulatory bodies.
So lets stop the name calling. Wine lovers are not snobs and beer lovers aren’t just hipsters. We can appreciate both beer and wine equally without alienating our passion for either. Education is key to acceptance and understanding. Ask your bartender to challenge your palate with a Stout, or visit your local wine boutique to learn about Beaujolais Nouveau.
Resources for more Wine & Beer-ducation!
- Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) – courses offered globally at all levels, from beginner to Sommelier.
- WineCollective.ca – monthly wine club in Canada, delivering new wines each month with detailed tasting notes and educational information.
- Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher – study up with this guide!
- Wine Folly– book, blog, videos, posters and more!
- Cicerone Canada Certification– courses for the passionate and professional.
Or, visit our new friend, CanadaCraftClub.ca for monthly beer club shipments across Canada. Receive new brews each month with information on style and tasting notes!