Everyone knows that we love everything local. So, when we heard about Drink Like a Local, we immediately jumped onboard. And if you saddle up to the Harry’s Pizzeria counter this week and order a pint, then you’re onboard too, since local craft beers have currently taken over Harry’s four taps to toast this new movement to support local breweries and help them grow, the brainchild of Brown Distributing Company’s Ian Salzberg, Minister of Beer Communications and Certified Cicerone. I caught up with our Brown rep and fellow local Josh Brent to get the low down on drinking like a local. Read the interview below and visit Harry’s Pizzeria’s Tumbr for an exclusive video on our local offerings!
How did the Drink Like a Local (DLAL) program start?
All major beer markets have strong local programs, it was just a matter of time before it came to South Florida. It’s always going to mean fresher product. And it’s the right thing to do. When you already have a local food scene and people like chef Michael doing these things it lends itself to the craft beer scene, I mean it started down here in South Florida really because of the foodie scene. It gives it more substance with a program like this, rather than grabbing a beer from the cooler.
And it tastes better.
And it tastes better! You’re getting flavors unique to the region and people identify with that, it’s something that people can be proud of.
Do you feel like it’s picking up momentum?
Big time. The craft scene in general, by growth rate, is out pacing any other segment of the market.
The beverage market or the beer market?
All alcoholic beverages – spirits, wine, beer… everything but spirits has declining growth rate while ours has double digit growth. It’s because craft beer, it’s like affordable luxury. You can get some of the best beers in the world for $15-$20 a bottle, and it’s something people really talk about, while with wine if people are really talking about it, it’s a hundreds-of-dollars bottle. It really suits people’s budgets in an economy like this.
How old is the program?
Just a few months now.
Are there a similar programs in any other states?
If you look at other markets, like California or the Northeast, even Chicago, they already have huge craft beer scenes. Miami has been playing catch up. And really the reason is that South Florida is at the end of the supply chain when it comes to distribution, so in other markets where they have a craft scene- there’s a local craft beer scene. Miami is catching up, and it’s been a long time coming.
How has Miami embraced DLAL?
With open arms. Everyone who we have reached out to has said yes, immediately. Even though Miami is glitzy and glamorous, there are a lot of people looking for something honest, with character and integrity, and the local craft beer scene does that. You know, I found craft beer in Seattle and then when I moved back here and was looking for a job I found these guys at Brown and begged for a job. I came in right as the sling shot let go. I’m just so happy to be a part of it here on my home turf.
Drinking locally as a local.
How does one find out where to DLAL?
We actually have a website with a listing with all the DLAL accounts, but I’m not sure if it’s updated yet. We’ve got lots of brewers on board and there are craft beer enthusiasts down here who just keep going and going. [I found a link on their facebook page here.]
Lastly, what is your favorite local craft beer?
My favorite local craft beer is…let me ponder that a moment….I would have to say, unfortunately it’s in limited release, but Cigar City Tocobaga Red.
I spoke with our Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed about the probability of us tasting some of that Tocobaga Red and it doesn’t seem likely soon, however we’ll be on the hunt. So stay tuned, connect with the DLAL campaign online here and @drinklikealocal, and remember to ask your servers at MGFD and Harry’s what we have locally in bottles and on draft, and keep drinking like a local wherever you dine. As Josh said, we’re just people looking for something honest, with a little bit of integrity, and after all, you are what you drink.