THE FIRST RULE OF GOOD BEER CLUB

The most compelling and popular posts on this site often rely on utilizing robust online databases and forums such as Reddit/beer, RateBeer, and BeerAdvocate to glean information, lists, or conclusions about the continuing craft beer revolution. However, I’ve started a new job and haven’t posted in weeks. So rather than put in the work to produce something useful for you to read, I’ll just play the blogger card and throw out something apocryphal I’ve noticed in the past week: is it just me, or do you keep seeing strangers walking around wearing cool craft beer schwag like hats and shirts?

We started Aleheads a few years ago- a diaspora of beer loving friends forced through education, employment, and the winds of fate to live in isolation, relying on the blog as a public-facing outlet to take the place of (or rather, supplement) long-winded private emails about our love of good beer. Craft beer consumption in the US was below 3%, and outside your Portlands, Friscos, and Bostons of the world, great selection was hard to come by.

Walking my daughter to school this morning, we rounded a well-hedged corner and came face-to-face with another father-daughter combo traveling the opposite way. America is the least subtle country, and as such we like to advertise who we are as individuals primarily through logos on shirts, ballcaps, and depending on your socioeconomic standing, automotive stickers. Hell, even billionaires like Mark Cuban wear hipster tees and cargo shorts. The other father in question was wearing an admittedly bitchin’ Flying Dog Craft Ales shirt. This one, in fact. I was sporting my favorite Dale’s Pale Ale shirt where the Neanderthal emerges from the fizzy yellow lager goo wielding the full-flavored ale flag. It’s the best. Without thinking, I gave his shirt a sharp salute, which he returned with a knowing nod.

This was the latest in a recent spate of good beer attire sightings: Dogfish Head hoodie at the mall, Bell’s Two-Hearted cap at the grocery store, and even a Laguitas racing decal on the eastbound Parkway (which received an appreciative honk). After so long with a niche hobby confined primarily to the Internet, I feel like Fight Club‘s nameless narrator who walks through society in anonymity before beginning to be recognized by other members of an informal family who understand instantly what makes him tick. In that case, words aren’t necessary, but  are in fact forbidden.

Maybe we need some sign to throw so that others know you’re an Alehead; or maybe it’s just coincidence I keep seeing all this cool beer stuff walking around on the street. Either way, it’s strangely comforting to run into somebody flying their good beer colors for all to see. I’m going to start doing it more. If you see me walking around, please don’t hesitate to say cheers.

15 comments

  1. At the big, outdoor musical festival I spent the whole last weekend covering for my newspaper, I was walking down the street when I heard a menacing-looking biker guy say to his friends “I’m going to be hanging out in the northwest corner because that’s where the craft beer is.”

    1. Menacing biker guys who hang out where the craft beer is are my favorite people EVER.

  2. I like the idea of a “gang sign” to let people know you’re an Alehead. I’m thinking a quick flick of the wrist to mimic a tap pull. Start with your fist held loosely in front of you (not too tight, lest someone think you’re going to punch them). Your fingers should be held parallel to the ground. Then quickly snap it back towards you so that your fingers are roughly 45 degrees off the horizontal.

    Click here for an illustration.

    1. caucasian1975 · ·

      That might be misconstrued as a rest stop invitation. Be careful with that.

      1. That was kind of the joke…

  3. jimbeem · ·

    This puts my Bud Light shirt to shame…

  4. […] The First Rule of Good Beer Club […]

  5. I was wearing a Pliny the Elder t-shirt at the movie theater and while I was standing in line at the concession stand some dude ran up to me and said, “Pliny! You know you can get that here in SoCal?!” He then told me to rock-on and proceeded to shake my hand. And then he rushed off to catch his movie. What’s cool is he didn’t buy anything, but saw me standing and had to cut through the crowd to acknowledge the craft.

  6. Pfft…beer tattoos are where it’s at these days ;)

    I trust the Aleheads are suitable inked? I bet you all have Gumballhead tattoos, for instance

    1. Personally saving the hop grenade tramp stamp for my first mid-life crisis.

    2. I’m afraid to get craft beer ink lest my logo of choice belong to a company that eventually sells out to Tenth and Blake.

  7. BeerCast Rich · ·

    suitably inked, even

  8. emptykeg · ·

    I thought it was just good gift giving from the sig’ other. It makes them feel even better when we wear the said such swag.

  9. Anonymous · ·

    hmmm, I’d be pretty busy in the NW. Every dude on street has a suds shirt on, except for hipsters.

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