Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway
Having gone through the process of buying (and recently moving into) a home, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about maturity, responsibility, and growing up. I feel that all of us, as beer geeks, are coming of age right now, and that all of our changing palates and preferences are poised to make the craft beer scene more open and accessible than ever before.
The most obvious way that this is happening is in a more reasoned approach to “extreme” beers. That isn’t to say that the Imperial IPA is dead, or even dying. I mean to say that these days fewer of us are being brought into the craft beer fold through insanely hoppy IPAs or brutish Stouts, and that’s thanks to the evolution and maturing of those of us who, 10-15 years ago, became beer geeks precisely because of those big beers. The maturing of the beer geek palate has facilitated the rise of session beers of all styles, not to mention the proliferation of international styles previously unknown to many Americans and the recent resurgence of craft Pilsner and other Lagers here in the States. The combination of more approachable (though still unique) styles with world-class versions of familiar Lager beers is contributing to the mainstreaming of craft beer, and creating a new generation of beer geek for whom bigger isn’t necessarily better.
As I said, though, Imperial styles aren’t going anywhere. People just now coming into the fold are going to be curious and will seek out the big beers eventually, and the rest of us still enjoy an over-the-top hop bomb on occasion. As we all get to experience new styles and new approaches to classic styles, we are entering an era where context will be king. The next 10 years or so in craft beer will look much like the Slow Food or Organic movements; as more consumers become aware of their options, products will emerge to fill voids and find niches. To draw out the analogy, think back to about 10 years ago: having knowledge of organic and biodynamic farming was just starting to expand beyond the niche of being a “foodie”, but within a few years even the biggest of box stores were touting “local” and “organic” produce. The ’00s saw the emergence of “organic” after decades of hard work and relative obscurity, as the movement itself and the public at large matured with regard to their approach to it. I feel we’re on the verge of a similar emergence with craft beer.
From the sudden appearance of craft brewers on grocery store shelves, to craft beers taking a spot or two on the draft list of the local watering hole, to the resurrection of the neighborhood brewery/brewpub, to even the copycat “macromicro” beers being put out by the biggest of big breweries, craft beer is finally coming of age as we are. It’s going to become more important as we move forward to keep perspective, to make sure we take things in the right context as they develop. In other words, we need to be mature. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to grow up. Until next time.
Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.
Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.
About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.
The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village