Last night after watching Manitoba’s own Farmery Brewery secure a deal on Dragon’s Den, I wrote a tweet:
“With this new investment, I’m hoping @FarmeryBrewery develops an interesting beer.”
I had chosen my words carefully, mulling over my allotted 140 characters so as to make sure I got the intended message across. I was fairly certain I had typed a simple message, nothing malicious or controversial, so I confirmed my tweet and went to bed.
I awoke to a response from the Farmery account:
“@colinkoop wow! Every comment from you from day one has been negative! you’re a pooper stooper, wasn’t the dragons thumbs up enough for you?”
Throughout the day, other users chimed in and most had harsher and more condemning words than my own. I won’t elaborate on the PR faux-pas that they committed or the maturity level of the response because I’m sure they realize their mistake.
While I’ve attempted a short-form response over Twitter, I think I can elaborate and expand a bit on how I feel about this brief but loaded exchange – and how it fits into my view of the craft beer world and Manitoba’s craft beer scene. Queue an elaborate analogy.
In the wake of the 70’s punk rock scene came a movement referred to as post-punk. The post-punk movement was characterized as being introverted, artistic, experimental, and incredibly varied in musical style. Each post-punk artist experimented with sounds, shed their traditional musical values, pushed their own boundaries, and en masse created a movement that changed the face of music. They didn’t make music that record execs wanted them to make – they made what they felt was good. And people didn’t listen to it because someone said it was good – they listened because it was good. It was a stark contrast from the noisy, riotous sounds of punk rock bands that began with rebellious political messaging but had lost their spark over the years. It was… amazing. It wasn’t for everyone, but my God it was for me.
To me, craft beer is the post-punk movement of food and beverage culture. Craft beer brewers are striving to change people’s preconceptions and break down the barriers of how consumers view beer. They vary in style from the established to the forgotten to the experimental and everywhere in between. They are unafraid to try new things just in the name of trying new things. Most importantly, like those post-punk musicians who made great music for the sake of expression through great music, they brew great beer for the sake of expression through great beer.
Craft beer drinkers don’t need Dragons to tell them when beer is good or not. They’ve already figured it out for themselves. Craft beer drinkers are intelligent, passionate, and more aware of what’s in their glass than some might realize. The craft beer community in Manitoba is small but it’s growing and despite its size it’s a thirsty, vocal community that craves great options. This province is ready for it.
My tweet was certainly not intended to offend. Nor was it intended to be negative in any way. We just don’t need another Rolling Rock, Stiegl, or DAB on liquor store shelves in Manitoba. What we need from you is some post-punk beer, guys.