Let’s talk about beer!
Beer has a long history, going back to the most ancient times. Beer of one type or another was brewed by ancient peoples all over the world, including not only Near Eastern and Mediterranean peoples, but also Africans and Orientals. Beer was introduced to Europe by the Roman Legions. There have been many recipes and brewing methods over the years, but beer as we now know it emerged only about five hundred years ago at the hands of the Germans and the English. It has been part of white American culture since the earliest colonial days. There were several thousand commercial breweries in America before Prohibition. Following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, only about a hundred breweries survived. For several decades thereafter breweries continued to close, and the manufacture and sale of beer was dominated by a few large national companies. Beginning in the mid-1980s a few beer enthusiasts began what is now known as the “craft beer” movement—small “microbreweries” that make and sell beer in what are call “brew pubs.” Today there are over 5,000 microbreweries or brew-pubs, generating over $20 billion in sales.
Craft beer is a white phenomenon. Microbreweries thrive on researching and resurrecting Old World recipes and techniques, and historic American recipes as well. Experimentation with varieties of grains and hops yields subtleties of bitterness and flavor. Also, keen knowledge of the science of brewing is applied to traditional beers to create new styles. All of this has come via the creativity and industry of white people—in particular, white men. A recent USA Today article begins by declaring the perfectly obvious: “Craft beer’s taste-makers historically have been mostly white and male.” Any time mainstream media speaks about what white men are doing, it is a safe bet they are not “celebrating” white culture, but wish to call our attention to what they see as a problem. And sure enough, the article is all about how there is not enough “diversity” in craft brewing.
The article consists largely of interviews with “African Americans” who are involved in the craft beer business. One featured is Kevin Blogder, co-owner and head brewer at Baltimore’s Union Craft Brewing. Blogder is described as “a member of a diversity committee started last year by the Brewers Association to help the trade group, which represents independent U.S. brewers, attract minority employees and consumers.” It seems that anything that is done and enjoyed mainly by white people is for that reason a problem that urgently needs a remedy. White people make great beer, and white people love to drink great beer. Instead of black people taking a clue from white people and adjusting their culture to include something—like great beer—that they come to acknowledge as a great idea, they instead have to complain that whites did not work hard enough to include them from the beginning. Why not simply start enjoying great beer? Why not start learning how to make it yourselves? Why does there have to be a “diversity committee” to agonize over ways to seek you out and drag you in?
Blogder appears to be rather realistic about situation. He says, “It’s a word of mouth thing, and if you look at the people that were originally involved in craft beer, it was white men. And we tend to associate with people that look like us.” Yes, we do. And so do you. The author of the article concedes: “…he hasn’t seen any intentional exclusion of minorities.” Well, this certainly will never do for catering to the typical readership of MSM—time to move on to more incendiary remarks.
Next up is Garrett Oliver, an “African American” brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, who asks, “Why is craft brewing such a monoculture?” Well, Mr. Oliver, maybe it is because the beer that white people drink was invented by white people in Germany and in England hundreds of years ago, and we have been drinking it ever since, and it is deeply ingrained in our culture. But for Oliver this is not an explanation—it is only further demonstration of the problem. He says, “African Americans have been culturally excluded from a huge range of things, and craft brewing just happens to be one of them.” Oh, dear. Some people are “excluded.” Oliver has learned his talking-points well. In the great equality pie in the sky he is sure that “when you present the beer in an inclusive way and really show people why this is worth their time and interest, everybody is just as into it as everybody else.” OK. I am scratching my head here. “Present the beer in an inclusive way.” And just what way would that be? Should all the white men be required to install flashing neon signs outside their brew-bubs saying, “Please, please, all black people, please come in and try some of our beer”?
Another interviewee is Mark Ridley, “who along with his wife Sharon owns The Brass Tap franchise at the National Harbor in Maryland, near Washington, D.C.” Ridley might have had a thing or two to say to Oliver about this “everybody is just as into it as everybody else” nonsense. Ridley opened his pub in “predominantly black Prince George’s County.” The result? The pub “…attracts a majority of out-of-town white customers from the nearby convention center.” Oh, the irony. How could the USA Today editors let this slip by and into print? Perhaps they counted on their readership to spin this for themselves: those terrible out-of-town white people, trying to preserve the whiteness of craft beer.
Why should black people clamor so much to be “included” in the white craft beer movement? They wish to be known as “African Americans.” So, why don’t they seize upon the historic African beers, just as white people have seized upon European beers? There are traditional African beers going back hundreds of years. (OK, let’s for now discount the fact that European missionaries introduced key brewing technology.) Wouldn’t it be great if you could go into any predominantly black population center and find several different brew-pubs offering a variety of African beers? Wouldn’t that be a great boost to black identity and black pride?
It turns out that one black man tried to do just that. Edward J. McClellan was Urban Program director of the NAACP in Chicago back in the 1960s. He had a great vision that the black man should learn to stand on his own and not rely upon white benevolence. He launched an enterprise in 1969 called Black Pride Incorporated. Its first retail offering was Black Pride Beer. Why did they choose beer as their initial offering? “Surveys available to him [McClellan] revealed that expenditures for alcoholic beverages in the black area are high—higher per capita than in predominantly white areas—and that millions of dollars are spent annually for beer.” The recipe for this beer was not any of the traditional African beers. It was not anything special or particular at all with respect to black taste, for McClellan observed, “blacks have no unique product characteristic preferences beyond that of high quality.” Anything resembling Colt 45 would do. No black people made the beer, or knew how to make it. They contracted with a Milwaukee brewery to manufacture the beer, a common lager, under the trade name “Black Pride Beer.” The original idea was that blacks would learn to make the beer and eventually take over production for themselves. But this never happened. The Milwaukee brewery closed in 1972 and Black Pride Beer ceased to exist.
Contra Oliver, it would seem that the blacks of Chicago did not get into Black Pride Beer as much as whites all over the country got into the $20 billion business of craft beer. Why can’t everyone in MSM and the general culture just face the facts? Craft beer is a white thing. Do blacks want some avenue of cultural expression, or do they just want a piece of a very lucrative market? It would seem that it’s not really a matter of “exclusion.” What’s really going on is that whites can never be allowed to be white. Whenever and wherever whites do something that is naturally white, they must be accused of “exclusion” or “repression” or “discrimination” or some such capital crime. Blacks as a whole do not give two figs about craft beer. The blacks who do cannot be portrayed as grateful for what whites have taught them, but must be seen as somehow overcoming the self-conscious efforts of whites to exclude them. I am grateful, as a white male, to frequent a brew-pub in a small town where, as Blogder expressed it, everyone looks like me. No one is “excluded” there. It just somehow turns out that the owners and patrons all are white people. Imagine that.