After months of writing and rewriting the Alan and Max Book, I was shocked to find Ethan had crystallized an idea in my mind. First, consider these passages from Wikipedia's article on the Futurist Manifesto from early in the 20th century:
In this period, in which industry is of growing importance in all Europe futurists need to confirm that Italy is present, has an industry, has the power to take part in the new experience, and will find the superior essence of progress in its major symbols: the car and its speed (see art. 4). (Nationalism is never openly declared, but is evident). Futurists insist that literature will not be overtaken by progress; rather, it will absorb progress in its evolution, and will demonstrate that such progress must manifest in this manner because Man will use this progress to sincerely let his instinctive nature explode. Man is reacting against the potentially overwhelming strength of progress, and shouts out his centrality. Man will use speed, not the opposite (see art. 5 and 6).
The main thing I knew about the Futurist school was a large number of them were machine gunned in WWI on the same day in the trenches wearing the uniform of the Italian army. I was not aware of how they were proto-fascists. But, to be clear, neither of those facts have anything to do with Ethan. No, I was thinking more of the aspects that remind me of the 1927 film Metropolis or the 1931 novel Brave New World. They are "modern" in the old fashioned sense of the world. If they are dystopian they do not necessarily diss the same things we might now.
So... has something similar struck at craft beer? I mean if you look at the claims made by Ethan here or, for that matter, Sam Tierney over here you are seeing modernists arguments. Technology and innovation as the basis for progress. What is clear, too, is that these arguments are the antithesis of "craft" if we think of the application of traditional processes as key to craftsmanship. Crafts by necessity look backward, to what has gone on before. Technology promises more and none of it appears in a rear view mirror.
If that is the case, are there traditionalist brewers on the one hand and futurists on the other? And if there are who do you line up with? I like the idea of steampunk brewers. And not the ones who just co-opt the word. No, I mean the ones who pattern themselves after the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel who seek to make great things from 19th century grade engineering.