Craft Beer Drinkers Require a Different Fashion.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no secret that the beer industry has been changing rapidly over the past twenty years. In the past, stores only carried traditional American lagers. A guy had his pick from one of several beer giants: Coors, Budweiser and Miller. Occasionally one might find a single six pack from a local microbrewery. Nowadays you can walk into a grocery store and find any of a hundred microbrews from Oregon to Taiwan.
While most folks still prefer their traditional American Lagers, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not uncommon for your average customer to grab a six pack of craft beers once a month when heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s feeling adventurous or has some extra money in his pocket. Of course thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your average beer drinker. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a whole new breed of consumers treating craft beer with the attention that winos give to wine.
These individuals drink craft beer and craft beer only. Like wine experts they have special cellars and an infinite number of classifications for their brews. They also tend to have higher incomes than the average beer drinker and wear thick beards and glasses. They are the so-called beer connoisseurs.
But still, they are beer drinkers and a common known fact about beer drinkers is that beer drinkers have always required beer drinking apparel.
In the past affordable quality beer meant affordable quality clothing. But with the rise of the microbrew customer who spends twenty-eight dollars on a single bottle of beer a new market has opened up. The serious craft beer drinker is high minded. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s high-fashion. He wants Gucci sunglasses that display the name of his favorite microbrew. He wants a Vera Bradley tote to carry his beer diary. He wants white Calvin Klein Capri pants for when heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s drinking with his buddies and playing croquet.
Clothing lines have begun targeting to these serious craft beer drinkers. Insiders are saying a new line, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Beer ChicÃ¢â‚¬Â, is expected to be released in January 2012. The high end apparel would most likely be designed in Milan and run in the normal three to five hundred dollar price range.
In anticipation of such a line, I will spend the next three months following Pepe VelÃƒÂ¡zquez, author of Brew Ha Ha: A History and Guide to the Microbrew in Fashion and the industryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s number one consultant on all things hoppy and fabulous. Born in Baltimore but raised in the fashion capital Paris from ages eight to eight-and-a-half, his knowledge of beer and style is astounding.
For the next 100 days IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be following him around learning what I can about this brave new world of craft beer and craft beer fashion. Most recently I had the chance to speak with him about his thoughts on fashion- both of beer and clothes.
BG: What can we expect to learn over the next three months?
PEPE: YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll learn about beer and consequently about life. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to ferment your soul with some full-bodies cascade hops and then weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re gonnaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ spice up your wardrobe while weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at it.
BG: Sounds like a terrific time. Any must-have craft beer fashion accessories we should know about this fall?
PEPE: Well, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not supposed to be talking about them but there are these New Belgium snake-skin, knee-high boots that are guaranteed to be the next new craze. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re made from genuine cobra which does wonders for spring skin tones. Not to mention the knee high cut will make your legs look marvelous. And they look good on women, too.
BG: How superb. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to get some. Any beers weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not drinking that we should be?
PEPE: Lost Coast Brewery has a wonderful beer called Alleycat Amber. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say it tastes any good but what a terrific name right? I mean I just love saying it: AlleycatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Also, if I am not mistaken, Maybelline will unveil a custom blended signature nail polish color this fall called Alleycat Amber. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been told itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sparkly and luxurious.
BG: AlleycatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re quite correct; that is fun to say.
PEPE: I know.
BG: I want to move to something different now. Pepe VelÃƒÂ¡zquez is more than just a fashion connoisseur. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a bit of a beer philosopher as well. Now, I was flipping through your book and I found an interesting passage. You said Ã¢â‚¬Å“Beer is an art form and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wasted on the proles.Ã¢â‚¬Â What did you mean by that?
PEPE: For the past 1000 years or whatever beer has been reserved for the working class and those of us with refined tastes were stuck drinkinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ boring old wine. Well no more. You see beer doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just belong to those that work in coal mines or whatever it is that most Americans do. It belongs to those that can appreciate it, those with trained palates. Like me.
Check out this review and sign up to get a notification when VelÃƒÂ¡zquez’s book hits shelves in January!
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