A new craft beer store off W. Franklin Street, Beer Study, just held its grand opening. The question posed is obvious: To drink craft beer or not to drink craft beer? Well, consider this:

Choice is one of the most important things in life. Think about it, what would you do if you walked into a clothing store and they only had three shirts? Would you buy one because it was the only thing available? Or would you go to store that has a wider variety of options? The answer seems pretty clear.

Well the same can be said about beer. Any time you watch TV and there is a beer commercial, who is it for? The likely answer is Budweiser, Miller, or Coors. These are the big boys of the beer industry in the United States. The problem is all of their beer essentially tastes the same. They are all using the same ingredients, and are actually aiming to make a similar product.

These companies are dictating what the American population wants because they can. Their market share is so high that somewhere around 60% of all beer sold is made by one of these breweries. But instead of innovating their products, they spend most of their money on cheesy marketing campaigns and other gimmicks. So what can you do? Stop by places like Beer Study and try a meticulously crafted micro-brewed beer.

Craft breweries are popping up more and more these days and they’re making an incredible amount of styles and flavors of beer. Almost all of these are made with just four main ingredients: malted grain, hops, yeast, and water. The beauty lies within the varieties of each constituent. Most beers used malted barley as their fermentable grain; however, roasting the grains to varying levels causes different flavors to come through. There are also numerous varieties of hops that add all sorts of differences to the profile of the beer. Along with differing sorts of yeast and water sources, the possibilities for the flavors a beer has are limitless.

The point here is simple: choice. The culturally dynamic community of the Chapelboro area demands choice, and that’s why Beer Study is one of many different micro-brew retailers around the downtown area. If you’re tired of having everything you drink dictated by mega-companies, head out to Beer Study and try a craft beer. You might not like everyone you taste, but I can guarantee that there is a beer out there that you’ve never heard of that could end up being your beverage of choice.

(thumbnail by geo462rge via flickr)

(feature photo by Christopher Lehault via flickr)