Beaumont’s campaign calls our attention to the fact that many breweries find themselves chasing the latest trends to attract and keep the ever-shortening attention spans of the public. Flagship February asks us to remember the beers that started this whole thing and liberated us from the state of affairs in the late 1970s when the number of breweries in the United States hovered around 50 and many of them were trying to perfect the same two or three beer styles; not the 7,000 breweries, making 100+ styles we see today.
As a result, I will only purchase flagship beers for home consumption during the month of February. Most, if not all, from breweries that got this whole movement started such as Summit, August Schell, Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, and Samuel Adams. Recently many of these “heritage” breweries have been faced with hard choices of whether or not to continue production of beers many of us used to drink all the time and now consider “fallbacks.” There are several examples, but most notable in Minnesota was the announcement about a year ago to discontinue Summit Winter Ale. A beer that had been made since 1987 – customer outcry reversed that decision, but it won’t stay reversed unless we buy the beer. Let us, at least for a month each year, make a commitment to the beers we enjoyed at the beginning of our beer journeys.