4 Reasons Why You Should Drink Local — And How to Do it

by Henry Moore

When you think of shopping local, your mind probably goes to stopping by the local hardware store rather than Home Depot, or picking up produce from the co-op. But what about drinking local? Supporting local drinking establishments can be a great way to boost your local economy and bring life to your neighborhood. Here’s why you should drink local this St. Patrick’s Day — and any other time — and how you can do it.

Drinking Local: The Why

Support Local Economies

Local bars and breweries create jobs and generate tax revenue for a vibrant local economy. When you patronize your local drinking establishments, you’re helping to sustain half a dozen or more jobs — and when those employees are off the clock, they’ll be spending their hard-earned cash in your town.

Contribute to Neighborhood Revitalization

Urban neighborhoods around the country have been enjoying a boon of revitalization, and bars and breweries have been a major driver. By providing a third place, somewhere people can meet to socialize outside of the spheres of work and home, drinking establishments serve as people magnets. They draw in crowds that hang around to grab dinner or stop into a store or two, helping to turn languishing neighborhoods into pockets of prosperity.

Help the Environment

Drinking local is much better for the environment than drinking mass-produced alcohol that must be transported across the country before it gets to you. Since local breweries operate in a more intimate sphere, sourcing ingredients and distributing locally, they have a much smaller carbon footprint.

Support Local Musicians

Local bars and breweries often provide a stage to up-and-coming musicians, letting them grow their fan base and build experience before embarking on a national tour. Bars are also a popular venue for independent touring musicians, so you can see your favorite band without having to pay big bucks for a stadium show.

Drinking Local: The How

You may not head to your local drinking establishment with such lofty goals as supporting your economy and protecting the environment, but if you’re heading out anyway, there are a few things you can do to maximize the benefits of drinking local.

Order Local Brews

When you’re heading to your favorite bar, make a point to try a local draft or two. Bars are increasingly offering local beers on tap, and even local spirits in places lucky enough to have a distillery. And, for the most part, they’re not any more expensive than your favorite import.

Check Out a GastroPub

Craving a dinner out? Skip the chain establishments and seek out a gastropub to enjoy inventive takes on typical bar fare. If you’re in the mood for a different type of cuisine, head to the restaurant of your choice and order a locally-sourced craft beer, wine, or cocktail while you dine.

Stop in to Local Shows

Keep an eye on your city’s events calendars, and stop by the bar to catch a local musician playing a set. Even if you’ve never heard of the artist, the cover fees are usually small, it’s a great excuse to grab a drink, and you may even discover a new favorite band.

Tour a Brewery

For a unique date, schedule a brewery tour at a local craft brewhouse. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the brewing process, meet the brewers, and even get to try some tasty samples. Most breweries offer group and private tours for a reasonable price.


Supporting your local drinking establishments doesn’t have to mean major habit changes. By paying just a little more attention to patronizing local bars and ordering local brews, you can be part of a movement that’s bringing new life to towns and cities across the country — and have fun while doing it.


Image via Pixabay by Pexels

Albuquerque + Craft Beer = Love

All craft beer enthusiasts near and far will delight in the Albuquerque Beer Week 2016 (ABW16) event schedule.

Albuquerque, NM: Craft beer enthusiasts will be flooding our local breweries, bars, restaurants and streets celebrating the great beers that New Mexico has to offer.      

ABW16 kicks off May 26 and pours through June 5 with over a 130 events, including a return favorite the 6th Annual ABQ Blues & Brews festival at Sandia Resort & Casino which features unlimited sampling from more than 70 breweries, cideries and distilleries.

ABW16 was conceived by the Patrick Cavanaugh of www.abqbeergeek.com and Marne Gaston of Feel Good Festivals with the purpose of joining the community in celebration of great beers, local music and amazing venues.  

If you want to try out multiple breweries during ABW16, check out the Hopper: Hop-on, Hop-off Brew Cruise with ABQ Trolley during ABW16. Hop-off and enjoy discounts at 5 breweries over 3 hours on May 27.

Lagunitas Brewing Co. is bringing some new flavors to ABW16 mashing beer & apples in their GravensTimeApple-esque Beer at Nob Hill Bar & Grill on May 31. 

Always looking for new flavors, breweries are showcasing multiple barrel-aged beers for ABW16.  Gaston says, “Beers can be aged in tequila, bourbon, whiskey and even wine barrels. Many of the beers are wonderful to begin with, but this aging process makes them even more complex.” Some of the breweries showcasing barrel-aged beers are Ballast Point, Tractor Brewing Co., Boulder Beer, Ska Brewing, and Rio Bravo Brewing Co.

Food is also big on the menu this year. “Look for beer paired with almost anything this year.  Cheese, sausage, brats, pizza, chocolate and more,” says Cavanaugh. “We have over 25 food-related events this year including pairings, brunch and dinners.”

Albuquerque Beer Week’s objective is to bring a greater awareness of craft beer in the Albuquerque area. They aim to accomplish this by providing a website that beer drinkers can peruse and locate beer related events taking place during the week, getting more people excited and involved with the craft beer scene. Abqbeerweek.com will also provide a forum for businesses to promote their beer week efforts.

Contact Marne Gaston at marne@feelgoodfestivals.com or visit www.abqbeerweek.com for more information.