Way back when, beer was the common man’s drink. In raucous German rathskellers, secluded Czech monasteries, and the windowless pubs of Dublin, men without land clanked steins together, singing and swigging and drinking away the grim European reality of social immobility. The propertied classes could have wine from their vineyards and liquor from their distilleries, but beer, like democracy, was the populist’s vice.
That’s beer’s romantic history. It sounds good, doesn’t it? Sure! It may have even been true, way back when. But a few centuries forward and an ocean away, in the country whose forefathers allegedly drank tankards of ale while forging its constitution, beer’s egalitarianism is under attack. American craft beer, the great equalizer, the one-time David to the macros’ Goliath, has spawned a fanatical fly in the democratic ointment. Pure of heart and sincere of purpose though they may be, this group challenges the very core of craft beer's ethos. They are to the craft beer-drinking public what the Tea Party is to the GOP.