What is local when it comes to beer or anything else in southern Ontario? Today there is someone who need not be mentioned drearily tweeting a series of xenophobic exhortations for we Ontarians to drink "local" beer. It reminds me of how the naivety of my former co-residents of Prince Edward Island were characterized by Halifax, Nova Scotian news columnist: PEI was too insular to be xenophobic. The Ontario comment is a bit different but still naive in its own way as it makes no effort to define "local" by any other standard other than political jurisdiction. Because we live in the province of Ontario, we should support Ontario stuff. Even if it is from very far away. And, presumably, even if it is bad or over priced.
Have a quick look at the map above. That is my quick calculation of the distance (in red) from the site of eastern Ontario's Beau's Brewing in VanKleek Hill to the border crossing between Windsor and Detroit, Michigan. It's a 758 km drive. Probably over 760 km now that I think of it as Beau's is on the east side of town. Taking that distance as the radius for a yellow circle, we reach the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the east of New Brunswick, south to the bottom of Delaware, north to within view of Hudson Bay and west to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This is great news for me as my "local" now include many of the vibrant scenes within the north-eastern chunk of North American - aka the land of diacetyl acceptance, perhaps greater New Yorkshire of which my Easlakian home is but a sub-region.
Isn't this a rational point of view? If I am being asked to support someone I have never met to the west why not one I have never met to the south. Anything else is jingoism. Embarrassing jingoism at that. My "local" is all that until I get a better definition that relates to the beer and not the available funding marketing grants application policy or the irrational wholesale distribution regulations.