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“I have the misfortune of living in one of those areas in which the craft brewing industry has somehow become one of the major drivers of economic growth. According to this map I found online, there are currently 57 craft breweries within about a 30-minute drive from my house in Durham, North Carolina. Within Durham alone, there are also taprooms for breweries not based in the area, craft beer stores that are also beer bars, wine stores that sell more craft beer than they do wine, at least two cideries (as in, places that make cider), law firms that work primarily with brewers, a business that exclusively does maintenance on all the different local craft beer equipment in bars, and, the last time I checked, one meadery that I assume sucks shit. In addition to creating jobs or whatever, all of this local booze also serves as an engine of gentrification in the area, as craft brewers snap up dormant warehouses near low-income residential areas, renovate them into high-end taprooms, and inevitably cause nearby rents to shoot up because all the yuppies want to live near the fancy beer place.
Beer is basically wine now, and that’s just something we’re going to have to live with forever until we die. And don’t get me wrong, a certain degree of craft beer is definitely a good thing. Local businesses are generally less evil than corporations, plus people need jobs and they might as well work someplace where they get free beer. Industries like craft brewing become popular through a process in which a few companies find an opening in a market of which they can take advantage, only for a bunch of competing firms to jump on the bandwagon when it becomes trendy, after which someone tries to stand out in an already flooded market by taking things to the absolute extreme.”
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