Last year, we were approached by a CC student who wanted to contribute observations from his college thesis to Focus on the Beer. We are excited to introduce David Wright, who is embarking on a month-long tour of breweries around the major metropolitan areas of Colorado in an effort to study the impact of craft beer on our society. He’ll be providing Focus on the Beer with periodic updates sharing what he has discovered through brewery visits, interviews and observations.
January 12, 2014
The Eternality of Ancient Community: Part 1
Last year, we were approached by a CC student who wanted to contribute observations from his college thesis to Focus on the Beer. We are excited to introduce David Wright, who is embarking on a month-long tour of breweries around the major metropolitan areas of Colorado in an effort to study the impact of craft... Read More
My name is David Wright, I am a senior Classics major at Colorado College, I love Colorado with all of my heart, I am looking to do anything with craft beer, and I am 20 years old. For the next month, I will be travelling around the state to talk to brewers, entrepreneurs, and marketing heads to study culture and subculture in the Colorado microbrewery industry with funds received from CC’s Venture Grant program.
It took a few times to receive funding from the college to help someone under 21 study beer culture in the state, but I persisted, feeling as though it was a perfect way to connect Greco-Roman thought to the modern world and look at this state’s passion in a different way. The attraction that craft beer commands is unmistakable, indescribable, and soul gripping, sweeping up faithful followers into the mysterious and fascinating allure that helps define what it means to live in Colorado. I was introduced to this phenomenon my senior year in high school when I was studying the new American West and we learned about the emerging economic impacts that microbreweries contribute to society. The second after one of my best friends (and contributor to CC’s beer lover column in the paper) talked to me about her intrigue in the culture here and her family’s love of beer, I knew that I would forever be hooked.
As a Classics major graduating in three years, I rarely have the opportunity to study such a modern economic or scientific movement in the classroom. In my senior essay, I explored the meaning of a sense of place in antiquity and the innate spiritual connection that one feels to a local community. Tangentially, I came across theories that went as far to say that modern prejudices that hold wine above beer in social hierarchy come from Greek and Roman mindsets. With commercial beer advertisements promoting sex and cheap alcohol, the local microbrewery ideal is reviving itself in all parts of the United States, and very notably in Colorado, iconoclastically rejecting large national brands and promoting a communal environment focused on local interaction and conscious living. The current revolution also brings to mind the microbrewery culture that existed before prohibition as the influx of new companies is responding to a lack of diversification, creating individual identities through their product, marketing, and own physical location.
During my sojourn around the state, I am going to spend a week in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Boulder/Fort Collins each to synthesize information on sustainability practices, how local the ingredients are, what type of demographic each brewery serves, and eventually compare the three major locations as a comprehensive reflection of their awareness of their own sense of place. Though Colorado’s microbrewery tradition pervades every part of the state, each section has its own way of doing things and every brewery represents a different aspect of their metropolitan area’s subculture. Obviously, I will not be able to experientially compare the stylistic brewing variations, but I will be able to synthesize what makes each brewery tick and why the industry means so much to each individual city making up the state as a whole. Aside from reading an enormous amount of material, I appealed to write for Denver offthe Wagon and Focus on the Beer during the trip. I will spend significant time at least 5 emblematic breweries in each city and if you would like to join me for any visits or talk about this project at all, please reach out to me- I would love to connect!
If you’re interested in getting in touch with David, his email is David.T.Wright (at) ColoradoCollege (dot) edu.His first scheduled stops are:Friday Jan. 17 / TRVE Brewing Company / DenverTuesday Feb. 25 / Denver Beer Company / Denver