Craft Beer Is Not 'Game of Thrones'

Posted on June 19, 2017, 12:23 a.m.

The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer. They reached for smart phones at daybreak to see a post published, twenty-four in all, and Kyle clicked among them, nervous with excitement. This was the first time he had been deemed old enough to go with his brewing brothers and sisters to see social media's justice done. Another brewery announced. It was the ninth year of craft beer's summer, and the sixth of Mother's life as a brewery. — - A Game of Hop Cones, Geoff R.R.R.R. Marvin

Perhaps you as well have heard whispers upon the wind bringing word of change in Springfield's craft brewing scene. Ambitious upstarts with refined palettes, honed recipes, and plans for the future. A small-ish city preparing itself for an onslaught of small breweries. And perhaps you've imagined established Springfield breweries preparing for battle: sharpening swords at grindstones, polishing armor, and lustily chanting the battle songs of their forebears. If so, while we salute your imagination, we must inform you that you are laboring under a misapprehension. 

Since the announcement of start-up plans of two more local breweries, your Mother's has repeatedly been asked, both on and off the record, 'How do you feel about the new breweries coming to town?' A valid question, albeit one sometimes asked with a glint, portending mayhem and the spilling of blood in the interrogator's eye. But Mother's answer remains the same: we welcome our brothers and sisters in arms at the battlements of brew houses across our home town as we unite under the banner of quality, flavor and local production. There is no Iron Throne of Springfield beer upon which we claim divine right. No coronation upon which we have design. There is but the gratification of brewing the best beer that we can. And the satisfaction of sharing it with the people who have opted with us, and every other independent brewery in the far-flung territories of beer-dom, to choose brews crafted with 'Bottoms up!' tantamount to the bottom line.

Which is not to say that the thunderous murmur of distant war drums and encampment of marauding hordes bent on invasion are not real: the industrial brewing complex may indeed, armed with Super Bowl ad budgets and formidable marketing clout, seek to drive independent brewers from the lands they have long called home. They may seek, by cunning or sheer brute force, to take our tap handles in the pubs of the realm. To lay claim to shelf and cooler space in our liquor emporiums. But, woe to those who underestimate the grit and determination of the warrior emerging from the grain room clad in a coat of barley dust, driven by a thirst inspired by ideals and, in turn, inspiring that thirst in others. Each local brewer willing to invest the time, toil, and tears to enter this fray, strengthens the bulwark against those that would deny us the vast variety of flavors, styles, and experiences that a robust local craft scene ensures.

So let those who, plotting from boardrooms atop gleaming glass parapets, seek claim to Springfield beer take heed: with each new local brewery, our collective knowledge, passion, and will is increased. From the brewhouse to the bar stool, those who have taken to heart the creed of local beer stand strong. Each new IPA empowers palettes and engenders pride in Springfield's evolving craft beer scene. We choose strength through unity of vision amid diversity of approach. We choose a wealth of choice and experiences. We choose beers conceived and brewed in the Queen City of the Ozarks. We choose to support a local beer scene rivaling that found anywhere. To the breweries joining us in this endeavor: let's get together for a pint soon; we have much work ahead of us. To those who love Mother's Brewing Company: your rear windshield has room for another brewery sticker. Craft beer is not 'Game of Thrones.' The true war is not internecine. It is one in which we are united and undaunted as beer lovers. Winter is not coming. But if it does, you will find us all, brewers, bottlers, tap jockeys, and pint-pounders, side by side on the ramparts combating it one elegant tulip glass of barrel aged imperial stout at a time.

- KJ

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