May 1, 2012

Beer City USA | Voting Is Not Enough

Today is opening of the Beer City USA poll put on by the legendary Charlie Papzian. I've expressed my thoughts on the poll previously (Dr Slactivist | Or How I Came to Accept the Poll). I concluded that the poll represents an opportunity to actually do something instead of passively clicking and (for the even more involved) cutting and pasting a link.

Patrick of the Brew Bros has spearheaded the get out and click campaign. He writes:
The pre­lim­i­nary vot­ing took place a few weeks ago, and the final bal­lot has been set. We will post the link for the bal­lot when it is avail­able, and be sure to vote for the city that you believe deserves to be crowned “Beer City USA”. Of course we have a large base of con­trib­u­tors in Ari­zona, and would love to see the state do well but over­all,  would love to see more par­tic­i­pa­tion from all across the board.
We also asked people to opine on why they thought Phoenix deserves the title. We have 12 days of voting but 1000's of days of getting things done. If you'd like to submit your opinion on Beer City USA, you can email us at BeerPHXation at Gmail and we'll publish it. This submission comes from Noah Curry:

"Phoenix and the surrounding areas sure don't get the respect and the attention they should when it comes to the craft beer world. For some reason people still think we're nothing but cacti & cowboys. Beer has always been the worlds favorite beverage of choice and this is no different for the craft beer lovers in AZ. We here are passionate fans of the craft and should be considered the best beer city because we can supply some of the best craft beers for the best craft beer lovers and do it outside of the spotlight. Winning the title of best beer city will not change my opinion of the Phoenix beer scene because I know we produce equal if not better beers and places to drink these beers than the big boys in Denver or Portland. Phoenix deserves this title and will eventually win one year. Until then, I'll just sit back and continue to drink local."
I locked in on Noah's comment about Cactus and Cowboys. Traditionally, Arizona was known for the 5C's: Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate. Somewhere in the 90's the southeast valley tried to incorporate Chips as a 6th C owning to the growing chip fab industry in Chandler. The 50's Hollywood version of Phoenix is definitely captured in Noah's sentiment as is the Old Town Cowboy sign.

How do we add Craft Beer as the 6th C? This poll won't do that.

What a Beer City Mayor Looks Like.
Former Denver Mayor Hickenlooper
I look at this poll not as something to be won but as an opportunity to find out what our level of enthusiasm is in the valley. This should be the beginning of how we move people that are not currently involved in craft beer as a local business and get them thinking about how it contributes to the economy and quality of life. We could cobble together the votes to make a good showing this year. We may even get the most votes, but I can't say that it will feel as though we've won.

How will we know when we've arrived?
  • We'll have a dozen more independent breweries in Phoenix.
  • The Mayor of Phoenix and the Governor of Arizona will be clamoring to open Strong Beer Fest and Arizona Beer Week with a ribbon cutting.
  • There will be dozens of walkable neighborhoods with breweries and good beer bars. 
  • There will be at least one brewery in downtown Phoenix between the 7's and south of 1-10. 
  • We will have 2 more curated beer festivals besides Strong Beer Fest and The RAREAffair.
  • Our breweries will offer more collaboration projects.
  • We have at least one event focused beer blog that covers all of the beer events of the week.
  • We will have 10 beer bars or restaurants that have cellared and vintage beers.
  • There will be at least one Belgian Beer bar that offers moules and frites.
  • At least once a month, you will hear about a Pro-Am beer being tapped.
  • When there is a request put out to have people call their legislators about a liquor issue, the groundswell of response will make the news.
  • When I buy a six pack at the local grocery store or order a beer at the airport bar, the clerk or bartender will tell me something about the brewery.
  • We'll have one or two personalities like Don Younger or Greg Koch or maybe someone more behind the scenes like Angelo De Ieso who has the power to bring people together on an issue or conversely get people talking and excited about an issue.
The poll opened today, May 1. It will close 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time, Sunday, May 13. 


The real work will be on-going.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic list on what it will take, I wonder on the walk ability in our spread out 100 degree city, but that's a topic you already chatted on...