Way back in the good old days, when my high school and college friends and I were young and fun-loving, we all drank more than our share of Budweiser, Michelob (the upscale product from Anheuser-Busch), Miller Genuine Draft and of course Miller Lite when we were feeling especially health-conscious. I have since forgotten why we enjoyed them so much; now they seem very bland and watery. Much more importantly, they have since sold out to foreign investors: Miller to SABMiller, a South African company based in London and Budweiser (Anheuser Busch) to InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate. But what about PBR, Pabst Blue Ribbon, the red, white and blue beer for the true hipster? They’re a Chicago based company that pays to have its beer brewed in breweries owned by the same South African SABMiller that assimilated the old Miller company. There is still Yuengling, a big American brewery and they have never sold out. But if you don’t live in one of the ten most mostly Eastern states where it is distributed, or just want a change of pace, there is still hope. Craft beer, made in local craft breweries like:
- Troeg’s in metropolitan Harrisburg, PA
- Dogfish Head, beers and ales much more delicious than than they sound made in Lewes, DE
- Flying Fish, in Cherry Hill, NJ (suburban Philadelphia)
- Smuttynose, another appetizing-sounding craft beer from Portsmouth, NH
There are plenty more breweries that make craft beer in other states and employ your friends and neighbors. The vast variety is part of what makes it fun. They often have clever names and artistic labels and produce limited editions, some of which have a higher alcohol-by-volume percentage, (% ABV), so be careful and drink responsibly. Seasonal and holiday beers and ales are a lot of fun, too: celebrate the holidays, celebrate winter, celebrate spring, celebrate summer and celebrate fall. Then next year you can start all over again.