The Diaspora of the Craft Community

Diaspora – A scattered population with a common origin in a smaller geographic area.

 I work, part-time, at a craft beer bar and restaurant. As such, I’m privy to many discussions about the craft beer community that I wouldn’t normally be apart of. Granted, it’s one of my favorite topics anyway, but listening to people talk about the beer sitting in front of them is fascinating.

I hear conversations all day, every day, about “a new brewery that just opened up in my neighborhood…” and “their new seasonal offering is really nice…”, etc. 

These people are causing new breweries to open and new beers to be brewed through general conversation. Not a day goes by when I don’t learn about a brewery in Somewhereville, Idaho that just opened its doors (not a slam on Idaho by the way, which has a lot of great craft happening!). This goes for the established breweries as well. I bet a lot of you have never heard of Ninkasi Brewing, or Sweetwater Brewing. All of these folks, these accidental ambassadors of craft, love to talk about their local breweries. West-coasters visit the east coast, have a conversation with someone at an east-coast brewery, and suddenly that brewery is brewing a Saison for the first time, all because they heard about it from someone out west.

This is one of a select few business models and industries I can think of that harnesses the creative power of conversation to such a degree. And the trends show you exactly what I’m talking about. I would even go so far as to say that craft beer relies on this spread of conversation. Brewers do not sit in silos and come up with great ideas. These ideas are a product of many conversations that just sort of…happened.

Craft beer fandom is spreading, and I’m stoked to hear it. People are meeting each other, traveling to new places, and seeding the next great idea over a cold beer in your local pub. It’s motivating an entire generation of people to support their local businesses and cultivate their community in a positive way.

I love hearing about that brewery in Atlanta, or Madison, or Dallas, or wherever. Tell us about your local brewery. Tell everyone. Visit them. Try their beer. Be the standard bearer for their growth and meet some awesome people while doing it.



Chris McClellan