Brewing ‘Burgh: The Rise of the Craft Beer Voice

Brewing ‘Burgh is an inside look at craft beers created, consumed, and celebrated right here in the heart of the Steel City. With the rise of the craft beer scene in Pittsburgh, these beers bring brand new meaning to the term “City of Champions.”

Under normal circumstances, Brewing ‘Burgh is designed to focus on the beers, brewers, and breweries that make the Pittsburgh craft beer scene tremendous. But today, we address another important element.

The voice of advocacy.

There’s no question, we are living in a different world these days. Think of how things have changed over the past five years in regards to how we communicate, learn, and connect. We are part of a society forever linked by an element of social sharing. Everyone has their own platform to voice their opinions, for better or for worse. It’s not unlike anything that’s existed for decades via lower-tech mediums…only now, it’s amplified on a grander scale thanks to the Web and various social networks.

Craft Beer PittsburghThose of us in Pittsburgh are fully aware of the growing trend in craft beer. More people are branching out and trying new beers, which has led to more availability of craft libations in our region. This popularity has also happily led to a rise of local brewers opening their own microbreweries, making our options even more extensive. These brewers saw the trend soaring upward and realized the demand was there.

That demand has created craft beer loyalists and those advocates champion and support it through patronage, promotion, and discussion of the beers that excite them. Its growth is somewhat exponential in that one person may try a beer, like it, and tell two friends who do the same. You can use apps such as Untappd to talk about the beer you consume. Or, you can go on your favorite social network, state your opinion, and spark up a conversation.

Or, you can start a blog. That’s what I did. That’s what a handful of others have done, too.

My vision for Breaking Brews has been three-fold since Day One: Advocacy. Education. Fun. I accidentally stumbled upon the revelation that many, many unenlightened beer drinkers live in a world where they simply don’t know what’s out there. In a world where the big beer companies have brainwashed them into believing the watered-down lagers are what they need to drink and all there is to enjoy. And that stinks.

I saw a need for more voices of advocacy. I saw a topic that I’ve always felt strongly about and could speak about passionately. Education can take place in a fun environment that celebrates craft beer and talks about it in a voice of positivity.

On my blog, I’ve never once claimed to be an expert on beer, nor do I believe I’ll ever become one. Quite frankly, I think EVERYONE, no matter what connection you have to the craft beer universe, can always learn something new about the world’s greatest beverage. What I’ve done is shine the spotlight on the brewers, on the bars and restaurants that feature craft beer, and on the beer itself, all while trying to provide some insight and opinion in a laid-back fashion.

What’s wrong with that? That’s my right, as it’s the right of anyone who sets up any form of online social existence.

The point is, we live in a world of total transparency where everyone has the means of creating their own platform for discussion. And how they use the platform they build is their decision. Want to talk about what you had for lunch and accompany that with a photo? Cool. Want to talk about your day? Excellent. Share a funny one-liner? Have at it. Post a meme or air your dirty laundry? That’s your call.

So with that complete freedom, what’s wrong with utilizing those platforms to speak in a positive voice? In one word: NOTHING.

When it comes to support for a rising phenomenon in our city (in this case, craft beer), the more voices the better! A growth in advocacy will solidify its popularity…meaning craft beer will continue to grow and more breweries from around the country will see Pittsburgh as a hotbed for their product. More people blogging or tweeting or posting about our local brewers and breweries will spawn into an extensive list of positive outcomes and the people who choose to do that should be encouraged to SCREAM their praises!

In this world of change and evolution, two things have remained constant: 1) Everyone has an opinion, and 2) We all have the ability to tune something out we don’t like. Think about how many things you come across on a daily basis that you simply scroll passed because they don’t interest you. If something isn’t in your wheelhouse, move on. Turn it off…don’t think it’s going away.

The craft beer scene in Pittsburgh is on fire and there’s so many people to thank for this rising phoenix. And with that rise is the amplification of the voice that champions it. To that voice, I urge each of you to turn up the volume even louder because your support is needed, encouraged, and appreciated. Let’s continue to shine the spotlight on everything the Pittsburgh craft beer scene has to offer!

 

 

 

Jason Cercone

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