Beer is often viewed as a cave man’s drink, a bottom tier beverage. Why would I drink a nasty ass beer when I can have a classy glass of fine wine or a sophisticated cocktail? Why would I sip a beer when I can pop a bottle of champagne or sip some liquor? From our point of view, part of the misconception & lowly view of beer stems from the look we have given it. We haven’t given beer a dope or classy appeal overall, even when we had a blank canvas to paint a fire ass portrait of beer as fine as Mona Lisa we failed.
Don’t get it twisted; there are some people out there that put on for beer, painting a dope picture of it. The OG Garrett makes beer feel like a drink of royalty when you read his writings. He makes you want to throw on a top hat with some clean ass Cole Haan’s & a pair of fitted, ankle cut slacks & drink beer out of crystal stemware while eating escargot. The legend Michael Jackson makes beer feel like you NEED to be filling your passport with stamps as you travel from city to city, country to country tasting beer & experiencing the culture & customs of where it’s from. When I read his work, I imagine myself in these little cafes that he describes with a beer in front of me just living my life like it’s golden.
My guy Christopher Barnes paints extraordinary pictures of Belgium & that beer scene that makes you want to pack your bags & move over there without thinking twice or looking back. The collective of amazing writers over at GBH give us stories coupled with pictures that give beer an appeal that isn’t the norm in the beer world today. Beautiful pics of the rustic countryside, classic styles & dope shots of food that makes your mouth water. Doctor J just gave us a powerful story of Peter Hemings, which filled me with fire, joy & excitement. It let me know that we belong in this shit & that we been in this shit doing our muhfucking thing.
These are total opposites of the majority of the pictures you see painted about beer now & throughout the craft beer revolution. Now days we see slushees, cartoon characters on cans, cereal crunched up in a beer that, as my homegirl said, looks like paintbrush water and tons of other gimmicky, fuckery. I’m not the fun police, y’all do your thing—I’m just giving my opinion. How I saw beer coming up was something to just stand on the corner or in a building lobby drinking to get faded, and I know that if a crunch berry beer was how I got introduced to a “better product or experience” I would have told you to get the fuck out of my face. Real shit.
At Beer Kulture, we recognize the need to paint beer in a new light, it’s vital. Part of our battle with showing people that this ain’t the beer that they’re used to is doing just that—giving them not only a different way to think about beer but also a different way to view & taste beer. This entails using your eyes, nose, palate, & your brain. Straight up, beer hasn’t looked this cool—nah, beer hasn’t been this fly. I’m talking a little spicy, but that’s a fakt.
My people back in NYC are doing a dope job of painting a new picture of beer, Kicks x Kegs (on IG) pairs beer with fly ass sneakers, so you can drink good while being flee color coordinating the aesthetics of the beer can with your kicks and fit. The homie, Joel (Uptown Beer Society & The Sampler BK on IG), takes that New York City charisma and throws beer into the mix like it’s nothing. Both of these are walking examples of Beer Kulture. Nah, I’m not taking or trying to take credit for what they’re doing, that’s all them. They fuckin inspire me! I’m just saying that they’re living & breathing examples of what we represent by merging the urban Kulture with beer culture and in doing that, they’re painting a new picture of what beer is and can be for the ones who look like them.
Bringing people that look like me into beer isn’t an easy feat, no sir, it’s no cake walk. Especially when your only view of beer is malt liquor and mass-produced lagers. It’s definitely no cake walk, especially when you go to a brewery or beer fest and all you see are khaki shorts, boat shoes (or flip-flops) & polos. Painting a new picture is necessary, it’s mandatory. Hopefully, this new picture doesn’t stop here, though. Hopefully, we can continue painting a new picture. Hopefully one day it’ll be normal to walk into a high-end steak house that has a cellar full of Belgian beer instead of wine (I know that’s a long shot, but a man can dream). Hopefully one day we’ll be able to have people who look like me owning more & more bars, breweries, restaurants & beer stores while being genuinely themselves. Hopefully more & more Certified (on up to Master) Cicerones would find gainful employment in the hospitality industry and demand the same respect as sommeliers. Hopefully! Until then though, we’re going to keep working to do our part in painting a new picture of what beer could be, and hopefully one day it will be.