Jeff has recently suggested that the flagship beer has lost its role. I am not sure I agree with this but it appears the US government shutdown may offer us all a vision of a future with little of the alternative:
Ska Brewing Co. wanted to introduce a specialty ale by late winter, but the federal shutdown could keep the 20 kegs of the hardy dark beer in its oak barrel indefinitely. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a regulatory division of the U.S. Treasury Department, has stopped taking applications for new recipes, labels and breweries. “What I’m really worried about is that there’s going to be a big backlog (of applications),” said Dave Thibodeau, president of the Durango-based Ska, which sells beer in nine states as well as Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Now, I am not suggest we diminish the effect of the halt in the work of government agencies but I do wish that the consumer would take a step back at moments like this. Distinguish their interests or even their views from those of brewers. Not to be combative, just distinct.
I am reminded how just a few years ago news that new brand approvals would be halted would have hardly caused a ripple. But that was before the days of inflation in selection, in seasonals, in branding and marketing as well as, concurrently, in super-inflationary inflation. Now, the market or at least the discourse is driven by attractions which are, from all indications, temporary. We love that beer they made. You know, the one you can't get anymore. We live in a state of nostalgia for what would normally be included in the present.
You may love this. You may enjoy changing horses every half mile, too. Me, I like what I have liked. I like the favourite t-shirt, the team I root for and that friends I have met along the way. At a certain point, I have to come to terms that I have made choices I agree with. I hope you do, too. So when I hear that things will stay as they have been for a while - and that the effect applies to all - well, it's an opportunity to reflect, take stock and think about whether the pursuit of the next thing looks a lot like chasing one's tail.