Beer ó A passion for beer


Think and drink local in New Hampshire

By Mike Roy

OK, so I made what I thought was a clear attempt at satire in my last column. Or was it really? I mean isnít that true of most Americansí perception of beer and wine? Wine is cool and sophisticated and beer is low and coarse?

Let me state now and forever, I am an ambassador of beer, one whose enthusiasm is unrivaled in the city of Manchester and perhaps even beyond. Arrogant, am I? You bet your sweet ass, but itís not about my knowledge, nor my opinions on the subject. It is about my passion. Itís funny how many people I talk to, ask what their passion is, and find they canít answer. I can.

I live for beer and itís my life. How many people would proclaim that in a public setting without feeling like they would be judged? I can.

I feel no shame and anyone who has truly conversed with me on the subject knows how much respect I have for something that most people just look at as a way to get drunk. Furthermore, how many people who proclaim they ďlove beer,Ē if told they could never consume another one again, would maintain their passion for it? I can.

My love of beer came at an early age and I was fortunate to have been born when I was. Right now we are living in the greatest period in the history of beer and thereís no better country than the United States when it comes to offering you a variety of styles and interpretations.

Doubt me? Just ask someone of a prior generation what the beer selection was like when they started drinking it. You might be astonished. Then again, you might understand and, like many of us,  know what it was like to have grown up in New Hampshire, a.k.a. the Barren Wasteland of Beer. Even now, we are the bastard little brother of northern New England.

We can change this, though, with your help. It all starts here, at a local level. Beer is a great way to revive our economy ó think local and drink local. Stop putting money into the pockets of billion-dollar corporations who produce beer outside the United States and ship it to us knowing it is already past its shelf life. Think local, drink New Hampshire. When you consume a N.H.-made beer you help keep money in this state and encourage the possibility of a broad and diverse brewing landscape.

Support your local breweries and you support your neighbors. Otherwise, I fear one day the great craft of beer brewing might dwindle or,  god help us, die off as we know it in N.H. Letís make it thrive.

For those of you who may not be aware of what is local to N.H. hereís a quick run-down on breweries that produce beer in the state, Support them when youíre in their area. Elm City, Keene; Flying Goose, New London; Franconia Notch, Littleton; Italian Oasis, Littleton; Marthaís Exchange, Nashua; Millyís Tavern, Manchester; Moat Mountain, North Conway; Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth; Seven Barrel, West Lebanon; Smuttynose, Portsmouth; Tuckerman, Conway; Woodstock, North Woodstock.

Mike Roy is the brew master at Millyís Tavern at 500 Commercial St. The Beer Cellar is a new column that will appear semi-monthly in the Hippo.


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