Thanksgiving is our uniquely American holiday, celebrated by nearly all of us, since it doesn’t require fidelity to any particular religion or doctrine.
It also marks the swoop down into the winter holidays: In past years, my friends and I would look outside our community during November and December, seeking out the
new, the trendy, the available for purchase. As I get older, though, I’ve been making a more conscious effort to seek out special events, people, and gifts found closer to home.
Think about this as you choose your Thanksgiving and winter beverages, especially beer. Instead of reflexively going for your “usual,” instead go for your “local.” Five quick minutes of research—try “breweries near me”—will help you find your local small-brewery owners, who may also be your computer-repair guy, the lady who stands next to you at Little League games, or the spouse of the person who grows that amazing basil you buy every summer at the farmers’ market.
Visit the taproom or the retail store attached to the brewery. The brewer will in many cases be there to aid you in selecting just the right beers to serve with your own or bring to your hosts’ Thanksgiving dinner. Take five minutes to hear the brewer’s story, if you don’t already know it, and look around the place and see what makes it uniquely suited to your area.
Taste a creation or two, if you can, and then buy your favorite to take home for your holiday table, parties, and get-togethers. Thank the brewer and staff, and tell them you’ll be back. And then go back. That’s how you make a place “your local.”
There are innumerable different types of taprooms and brewery themes; your happy task is to find the ones near you (or your hosts) that make you feel at home. It means so much to area businesspeople and your economy when you stay and buy local.
It’s a winning situation all around: You get super-fresh, thoughtfully crafted beer; your dollars stay in your community; you make new friends; the breweries get new patrons and friends; the brewers get input into what their communities like in terms of flavors and trends, and your new “local” becomes the place to be.
Sounds like the beginning of a happy holiday season and beyond.
Let us know: What’s your local?