For this month's Session, Mike Lynch of Burgers and Brews discovered on a recent beer trip that "despite all the amazing stops I planned, one of the best experiences was completely accidental". From this experience, he asks us to write about unexpected discoveries in craft beer .
For the biggest jaw dropping, how the &%$# did that get there craft beer experience, I would have to go with the day I dropped into a 7-Eleven in Carlsbad, located just off of Interstate 5 while travelling on business just to get a Diet Coke. To my amazement, to the left of the Diet Cokes were bottles of Alesmith's IPA and Pale Ale. OK, so I wasn't all that far away from Alesmith's brewery in San Diego, but would anyone really expect to walk into the typical roadside 7-Eleven in one of those tired California strip malls and find something from a small, niche' brewery like Alesmith staring in the face behind the glass doors inside the wall-sized beer cooler?
But since that shock nearly two years ago, I've discovered great craft beer in lots of completely unexpected places like dingy dive liquor stores, a zoo, or at an airport in of all places, Salt Lake City as the craft beer industry continues to grow and proliferate. As I thought about this month's Session, what I found really shocking was that craft beer is now in so many shocking places it's no longer shocking.
For further evidence of craft beer's creeping ubiquitousness, where do you think these pictures below were taken?
Would you believe at my friendly neighborhood Safeway in Belmont, CA, located on the San Francisco Peninsula? And while I'm fortunate to live in a prime area for craft beer, walk into a nearby grocery store, give the beer selection a careful look and ask yourself, did you expect it to look like this five years ago?
Beer Wars? Indeed.
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