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On this 4th of July you of course want to drink patriotically (and responsibly). How do you drink patriotically? By drinking beer made in America by Americans! This will of course exclude all imported beers. You can drink Guinness on St Patrick’s Day and Erdinger Weissbier on Reunification day. Just go out to any convenience store and buy a beer from any major American brand! But is that really patriotic? All the major American brands are today foreign owned. The beer is produced in America by Americans but the money goes to a big international money box invested in many countries or handed out to shareholders worldwide. Big breweries are an anomaly in the history of beer. The norm is that beer has been brewed by small, independent and local breweries and brewpubs or brewed at home. If you drink a beer from your local craft brewery you will support your local community. Chances are pretty good that the money will stay in the community that might even lead to a new job or two. And if you drink your neighbor’s homebrew he/she might be inspired to take the next step and start a brewery. This is the heart of American entrepreneur ship and ingenuity. This is what America was build upon – having a good idea and making something out of it or finding something that can be made better.

Stoudt's Amercian Pale Ale.

Now what style of beer should you drink to be patriotic? Most of the beer styles have their origin in Europe. I think the only beer style that can be called American is light lager. This is not a very popular style with craft brewers and home brewers so it’s not likely that you will find one. It’s more likely that you will find a great selection of American IPAs. American brewers took an already great beer style (India Pale Ale) and put the American touch to it by adding American hop character with citrusy and fruity flavors and some American attitude. This is now the American style IPA, which is the flagship of American beer styles. The beer should only have American hops, which of course is patriotic.

So be patriotic and have an American IPA from your local brewery on July 4th. With the amount of craft breweries that there are today the chances are pretty good that you will find one. If you don’t, the chances that you have a home brewer just around the corner is even greater. And he will be happy to share his beer with you!

Happy 4th of July!