Hipster Craft Beer Stereotype
aka Not All Craft Beer Drinkers Are Hipsters…
I hate stereotypes. I hate being labeled. I hate being pigeon-holed. I’ve seen and heard by people here and there that this craft beer movement is largely dominated by hipsters. I don’t agree with that. Ok so I love craft beer. That doesn’t make me a hipster. I don’t have a nifty beard and handlebar mustache reminiscent of Rollie Fingers nor do I wear the latest fashion trends, nor do I believe that anyone in our little circle does. I work in the financial sector and shave my face daily.
I don’t believe in the counter culture (I think I grew out of that when I hit 25) and I don’t care for their sense of fashion, if that’s what you call it. Why does an entire group of people, vast and broad in demographic – as well as racial, ethnic and social makeup – have to meet the demand of some who wish to take ownership of this type of community? I’ve been around many (to put it lightly) craft beer drinkers – as well as brewers or those who work with them – and have found little in the way of self-identified “hipsters.”
Ok I know it’s the cool thing to do, I know it’s the current cause-célèbre for many. I’ve already seen it overtake the javaheads in the coffee drinking community. But I just don’t get it. Why be a drone? Why be a clone? Our mantra is “stay thirsty, but stay different.” That means not conforming to the demands of a certain few who want to try and be iconoclastic, those who seek to wear some uniform that says “hey, I’m pretentious and just not into your scene man” or “fight the power, man” and then try to get you to convert to their way of thinking in life.
I think of these types of people as I would the anti-war radicals from the 1960’s Vietnam era. That or the whole Seattle grunge movement from the 90’s, which brings me to my next opine. I also think a lot of this is possibly a marketing ploy for some clothing line to sell more product. Even one of the major beer labels took a swipe at craft beer drinkers and their affinity for “Peach Pumpkin Ale.” What did they show the whole time in this commercial? Hipsters. Craft beer is about you as an individual who has the passion and desire to create and/or enjoy beer of your own liking rather than what the mass market wants to sell you. It’s not about some dress code or fashion statement. It’s about being different from the rest and doing you, basically. I have nothing against those who want to dress like that, go ahead and do your thing. My problem is with the fact that an entire group of people – again, largely diverse – is typecast or narrowed down into a certain stereotype. That’s like saying all wine drinkers are rich snobby aristocrats.
With that being said, I’m going to issue a declaration here and now to everyone who likes good beer – you don’t have to fit into anyone’s preset design for who you should be or how you should act. You don’t have to follow a certain dress code. Wouldn’t dressing up in uniform in lock-step fashion with everyone else in this “counter-culture” be more like buying into a system so to speak? In other words, a real act of being counter-culture would be not to hop on their bandwagon (which is a culture in and of itself if you think about it) and follow along like a lemming, but rather to march to the beat of your own drum.
Stay true to who you are and most importantly to your taste buds. Because in the end, that’s all that matters. Be who you want to be be and drink what you want to drink. Stay thirsty, but stay different. Cheers…