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Peter LaFrance

Saturday, September 18, 2010



The title of this piece may seem unusual but I assure you I have a great deal of confidence that there is a disconnect going on in the beer world in the United States in particular.

There is a disconnect when it comes to the person who looks forward to a “suitcase” of iced cans of refreshing brew and the person who looks forward to a special snifter of twelve-year-old Russian Imperial Stout from a jeroboam sized bottle. (Now how you can pour a four ounce snifter of beer from a bottle that would serve a platoon is beyond me… but that is the point of this piece.) These two poles are emphasized in media and myth. Both sides enjoy their reputations and encourage membership. However… as in politics and the real world…

The rather comfortable place between these two poles is inhabited by folks that like simple good food and beverages. These folks have no time for pretense. These folks have no intention of being intimidated by either cuisine, chef, bar manager or hostess. These are folks who want a comfortable place to celebrate life. They want to be able to enjoy friends, food and beverages that build friendships and eases introductions. Whether banter, political “conversations,” sensual side-glances, trade-talk, show-offs or keeping-in-touch… all of this is part of a shared experience that is essential. This is what has been defined in a number of sources as a “Local”…

When I first heard of this term in literature I was brought to mind of Victorian England and the romantic image of the “Pub”.

Since then I have learned that the “Local” is a special place and means different things to different people. What it means in the end is a place where you can feel special and enjoy life a little more than when you first walked in the door. This has nothing to do with the “Belgian Lace” on the Leffe glass. That would be a good thing if it was there of course. This has nothing to do with the traditional “two fingers” of foam that should crown most brews but never does because the customer will feel cheated. In essence it has to do with the best brew served in the best way and enjoyed with a good heart with good friends.

The “craft” kids and the “farmer brew boys” would better enjoy life and each other if the connection of good food brought them together understanding that they were talking about beer and well… there is no disconnect there.


Peter LaFrance

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